"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God..." — John 1:12
Today we return to the same Bible passage we used at the beginning of this month, with one additional verse.
As we have seen, a major part of the story of Jesus is the shocking, sad history of how the Son of God was despised, rejected, and betrayed. But, as today's verses also remind us, God's light shone in the darkness, and (good news!) "the darkness has not overcome it." Instead, the reverse is true: the light overcomes the darkness.
Amazingly, the Holy Spirit can use darkness to lead us to the light. This is the light that brings us back into God's presence as his loved children—the light of life that lasts forever. At the end of John's gospel, after he tells the story of Jesus' life, suffering, death, and resurrection, John clarifies why he has told Jesus' story: "that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31).
That opportunity to receive Jesus, to believe in him, is for everyone. Revelation 7:9 describes "a great multitude . . . from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb."
Will you be part of that multitude on the day when Christ returns, or when he calls you home?