16 July 2020

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own and His own people did not receive Him” (John 1:10-11).

We see John the beloved disciple of Jesus making this observation in the prologue in the gospel of John.

Our blessed Lord no doubt saw much in this world to grieve Him. He saw the obstinate blindness and unbelief of the vast majority of those among whom He ministered. This would be clearly seen in the subsequent chapters in John’s gospel when even the religious leaders refused to acknowledge Him as the Messiah and Son of God despite many miracles and clear demonstration of who He really is.

Today, we find little in the world to cheer us in this matter; we see around us a vast multitude walking in the broad way that leads to destruction, carless, hardened and unbelieving stance. We see only a few who believe to the saving of their souls but take note that even the Lord Jesus faced such an unbelief when He was on earth.

The Apostle Paul wrote that unbelievers are dead in trespasses and sins and they follow the course of this world and the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. Such ones carry out the desires of the body and the mind and are by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3). More than ever, the world today is deep in such a bondage and disobedience; do not be disheartened when we see so few who are willing to respond to the truth of the gospel. The sovereignty and purpose of God cannot be impeded; His grace, mercy and power would triumph in the end, for in the fullness of time, He would unite all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth.

“In that same hour He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him” (Luke 10:21-22).

Notice that God has revealed Himself and His ways to those who are humble, teachable and receptive to Him, and it is the prerogative of the Son to reveal God the Father to those whom He chooses. In this age when man claims to be the centre of the universe in his pride and arrogance, it is no wonder that the things of God are hidden from him.
In the gospels, it was recorded several times that Jesus wept but here in Luke 10, we read that Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit. What was the cause of HIs joy – it was the conversion of souls. It was the reception of the gospel by the weak and lowly among the Jews, when the ‘wise and prudent’ on every side were rejecting it.
“Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).

Let us bless God that any at all are converted and that any at all believe. We must realise the sinfulness of man sufficiently. We must reflect that the conversion of any soul is a miracle – a miracle as great as the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Let us learn from our blessed Lord Jesus to be more thankful. Even though only a few are saved, we should find reason to rejoice. For it is only through grace and undeserved mercy that any are saved at all. Indeed “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). We need to continue to pray for God to open the hearts of men and for men to humble themselves before Him. In the midst of the pandemic, economic crisis, climate changes and environmental disasters, may various ones realise that they are not in control of the world and their destiny; may their hearts be tender and open to the offer of salvation in Christ Jesus alone.