He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:11–12, NIV).
John 1:11 is one of the most tragic verses in Scripture. Yet the following verse is one of its grandest promises. Jesus came to his own. These were his people, his church. But his own did not receive him.
They were waiting for their Messiah. But they rejected and scorned Jesus because he didn’t come with social status or with money. In their minds, Jesus hung around the wrong crowd. He also challenged their religious group-think.
What does it take to be a church that welcomes Jesus? I’m not talking about the second coming. Jesus comes to you every day, in many different guises, waiting for you to welcome him. You will never treat Jesus better than you treat others.
It takes a humility that is the opposite of dogmatism and pride. This is a humility that accepts a willingness to be surprised by Jesus because he is the Lord of the unexpected. It takes a heart of love.
In fact, there is a simple way to make sure that the church welcomes Jesus. Scripture tells us:
Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me (Mark 9:37, NIV).
Who are the little ones? They’re the ones that we don’t easily welcome. – Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Challenge yourself. Invite someone home to dinner whom you have never invited to your home. Try to invite someone who isn’t a Christian or anyone who is currently in your circle of friends. Welcome someone and widen your circle of friends to intentionally show the love of Christ.