John 1:9,11-12—The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–
Throughout the Gospel of John, we have the declarations of Jesus’ identity. One of those declarations is that Jesus is the light of the world. Darkness is ignorance and uncertainty. Light is clarity that reveals things as they truly are. Verse 9 clearly says that everyone who comes into the world is given light. There is no one that dies without a revelation of the light. John goes on to describe the different responses to the light that shines on everyone. The first response is from the Jewish people (His own). They did not receive the light, Jesus. They were presented with the light and knew it was light, and yet chose to remain in darkness. As we will see later in John, that is not true of all the Jewish people, but of the vast majority. Many of the leaders came to believe but would not say so because they preferred to cling to their positions in that society. Claiming Jesus is THE light can be hazardous to your social standing. The second response John gives is that of all who did receive Him, that is, those who believed in His name. His name means the salvation of JHWH. They believed He was indeed the salvation of God. To believe in the name also means to accept the authority the name represents. Instead of clinging to the world’s authority, they chose to yield to the authority of His name. Those who do so are given the right to become children of God. Have you decided His authority is above that of all worldly authority? Have you believed that He is indeed THE salvation of God? Then you have the right to become a child of God.