The Saddest Words Ever Written

To me, the saddest Bible verses ever written are in the first chapter of the gospel of John referring to Jesus “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” John 1:10-11 NIV

Can you imagine? Coming to those to whom you’ve given life, to those to whom you belong and not being received?

Jesus built this house on which we live. He designed it. He was the creative force, the energy, the DNA, the push, the bang behind it all. We are the result of His wild and endless imagination. Like a living, breathing graphic novel, He authored and illustrated us into being.

But when He joined us, when He visited the world He created, when He deigned to take our form and enter into our story, we shut the door in His face. As if He was a filthy beggar on our doorsteps, a salesman for a product we couldn’t imagine we would ever need, a disfigured veteran long assumed dead from a war we forgot we were fighting, a father returned from work only to find the locks changed and another man in his seat at the table.

I have known people who were shut out of their families’ lives – children cut off from parents, parents whose children refuse to let them in to their lives or the lives of their grandchildren. These people walk this world marked somehow, as if they were missing a limb or an eye or an organ.

On the surface, their lives appear normal but scratch the surface and you see they are operating as though they were receiving less oxygen than the rest of us. Mention the offending family member and victims of the shunning look sad, slightly confused, and smaller than they were intended to be.

There are times when a family member has abused his or her relationships and the shutting out is warranted. I’m not talking about that.

I’m talking about people who harden their hearts, who refuse to forgive, who take offense over minor slights, who insist on control or having everything their own way, who are thoughtless or heartless or so self-absorbed they cannot imagine how others feel even for a moment.

This is who we were when God came to be with us.

“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”

Jesus is made of different stuff than we are. Although He is human, He is God so He did not crumble at our rejection, He did not wander off at our locked door, He did not stumble away confused and broken, He does not wander the back alleys of the universe wondering what He has done to deserve our foul treatment.

He saw our rejection. He faced it full on and He took it upon Himself like a scourge to His flesh, like a nail to His palm, like a thorn on His head, like a spear to His side and He bled out love onto the very dirt from which we were fashioned. He who breathed life into us, breathed His last for our sake.

But you know, loved ones, that He did not remain locked inside death, it did not control Him nor did it keep Him. He rewrote the end of death.

Verse 12 of John 1 says this “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” John 1:12 NIV

When we turn to Him, we will never find ourselves shut out. No matter what our name has been on earth – rejected, shunned, abandoned, abused, unacceptable, or does not belong – when we come to Jesus He gives us a new name – accepted, received, welcomed, embraced, healed, one who belongs, beloved, treasured, child of God, friend of the most High, one who triumphs forevermore.

I had other ideas about what I would write today but when I turned to the gospel of John, I just got lost in Jesus. I received Him again into my heart, my mind, my life, my day, my moment and everything else found its proper place in my soul.

May you also receive Him today – receive Him for the first time or receive Him anew. If you have forgotten what is yours in Him, may you remember this day. If you’ve never known what could be yours through Jesus, if He is still standing on the other side of your locked door, may you recognize Him for who He is in this moment and find yourself received forevermore.

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    The Conversation

  1. Vanessa says:

    A beautiful post Lori. Jesus is always there waiting for us to open the door. Happy my heart heard the knock. Many blessings to you! ~Vanessa 🙂

  2. Barbara says:

    I am so grateful rejection didn’t do to Jesus what it tries to do to us. I want to receive Him to where His acceptance is literally all I need.

  3. Thank you, both, for coming by and I’m glad Jesus found reception in your hearts.

  4. Jesus is the most misunderstood character in the universe. When I repented for misunderstanding him, my life deepened in ways I never dreamed of. Good post, Lori. 🙂

  5. Beautiful, Lori. I am blown away by our Heavenly Father’s ability to thrive through rejection. Even a little bit can throw me into a tailspin. What a mighty, compassionate, giving God we serve.

    And thank you for stopping by my blog. You have no idea what your encouragement means. I wish we could get together for coffee sometime. Maybe someday. 🙂