Becoming | James Stevenson
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, ‘This is the one I spoke about when I said, “He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.”’) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Whether young or old we are continually becoming who we will be, shaped by the decisions we’ve made and anticipating the next part of our life. Looking at the Church in our country today we can see how it too has evolved, and how much of what we inherited from the early Church has been lost. Atheism is rife in our society and many mistrust the institutional Church for mishandling safeguarding issues.
Yet there is so much spiritual hunger! At B&A we have read the book of Acts from beginning to end so that God could prepare us to be part of his answer, growing us in obedience and confidence in sharing our faith. Now we are reading John’s Gospel to discover a clear presentation of Jesus – the Saviour people are crying out for, although they don’t realise this is what they need.
When John describes Jesus as ‘the Word became flesh’, he implies that all our deepest questions and longings meet a response in Jesus. The silence of heaven has been broken because God has spoken in Jesus.
John also says ‘we beheld his glory’ – a coded way of saying ‘I was at the Cross’. There was a second ‘becoming’ for Jesus: he became sin for us, although he himself was sinless. He suffered the consequences of the world’s sin, and in sacrificing himself he enabled us to step into a right relationship with God.
But not everyone would respond and John contrasts ‘the kingdom of God’ with ‘the world’ – ie those who rejected Jesus. As John says, we are all given the right to become children of God, but we have to exercise that right. We do that by saying ‘Yes Jesus, I want you to come and live in me.’
There is much about life that is beyond our control, but some things are within our grasp and this is one of them. If you know what Jesus did but have never asked him into your life, doing it now will give you that right to become a child of God.
Perhaps you have been walking the Christian life faithfully, but have never realised that God wants you to hear him say ‘You are my child in whom I am well pleased’. You could exercise that right today and know yourself to be his child.
Who are you becoming? What decisions will you make in your daily life that will shape your future?