He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
// John 1:11-13
When Jesus came into the world He came as a one-of-a-kind Son. Not a fully grown, young man, but a pure and perfect baby Son. God revealed the fullness of Himself to all of His children not as a cloud or an angel, but as an innocent child. In this way, it’s difficult to receive Christ when looking for God with pride. Many have overlooked Him and many continue to do so. Even as believers, we can miss seeing Jesus in the day-to-day, for we can be clouded with the visions of this world.
The creator of all things was given to the world as a child to be received as a gift. When children receive birthday gifts, there is no sense that they have earned that gift – gifts are freely given and children freely receive them. It’s a wondrous and crazy thing, but this is the same way in which God calls us to receive His son Jesus.
If we were to welcome a King or someone of great power into our home, we would likely feel the need to earn their approval, working hard to present ourselves in such a way that would please and impress them. Not so with our great King. He surely deserves to have our whole lives presented to Him spotless and blameless, but He knows we could never achieve that goal on our own. Jesus came to give us the greatest gift there is – the right to become the children of God. How? Not by works but by faith alone. This amazing gift, this amazing grace, this unmerited favor is not earned by our own efforts but is a free gift from God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
We would not expect an orphan to perform in order to be chosen for adoption into a family, but somehow we have formed the idea, in our sinful nature, that we must earn the love of the Father in order for Him to choose us. But we must remember, daily, that He chose us before the foundation of the world was laid. He chose us in His Son, Jesus Christ, who was and is the perfect, one-of-a-kind Son who lived a life of perfect love towards His Father and others every day. He was the only Son that didn't deserve death, and death could never take His life because death is only the result of sin. So Jesus, of His own free will, as God Himself, chose to die on our behalf so that all of us could have the right to become the children of God.
May we receive Him today, this one-of-a-kind Son, so that we too would be the one-of-a-kind children God created us to be: innocent, filled with wonder and hope and in awe of our heavenly Father. You are a child of God.