Read: John 1:6-13

. . . yet the world did not know him. (v. 10)

John’s prologue is lofty poetry—it’s lyric. Curiously, however, John interrupts his own poetry in verse 6 to call a time-out. He needs to make clear that this Word of God he is singing about is not John the Baptist. That was necessary because even later in the first century when John composed his Gospel, there were still quite a few people who thought John the Baptist, and not Jesus, was the promised Messiah. John had always been a more flashy preacher, after all. But no, the evangelist John points out, the Baptizer came only as a witness to the Light.

But then the song turns somber. This true Light who made this whole world came into his own world. But he went unrecognized by most. Even by his own people. Jesus was just not what a lot of folks had been looking for in a Messiah. The religious authorities were very certain Jesus was not the One because if he had been, he would have talked and acted just like the Pharisees.

Mostly those who did recognize Jesus were the down-and-outers, the “losers,” the fringe people who were banished from good company in religious circles. They saw Jesus as one of them, and Jesus welcomed them gladly. It was a scandal to the buttoned-up religious leaders of the time. But for all of us who have ever been “afar off” from God, this is one of the very best parts of the good news of the gospel! —Scott Hoezee

As you pray, thank God that by grace you recognize Jesus for who he is.

About the Author

Scott Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church of North America. He served two Michigan congregations from 1990-2005 and since 2005 has been a faculty member at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he serves chiefly as the Director of The Center for Excellence in Preaching. He is the author of several books, including most recently Why We Listen to Sermons (Calvin Press 2019) and is the co-host of the “Groundwork” radio program.