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Why wasn't Jesus recognized as Messiah? John 1: 4&5, 9-11

Updated on January 23, 2014

Prophesy about the Messiah as a victorious king

Genesis 3:15; 49:10

Psalm 2; 68:18; 110;

Isaiah 9:1-7; 63:1-6

Prophesy of a humble Messiah

Psalm 69:19-21

Isaiah 53

Zechariah 12:10-14

Lists are not comprehesive

What can we learn about life from this passage?

Life - is found in the Word/Jesus.

Life is Light

Life is available to everyone

Why? -Because He created us

Note - many people can make a great living, but not everyone has a great life. Consider the rich man who would give up all his wealth just to have one of his many marriages survive

John 1: 4-5, 9-11 –“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”

God’s chosen people thought they lived in a dark world, and their lives were difficult. They lived under the control of Rome and resented every minute of it. It wasn’t all bad; Herod was spending a fortune and an eternity restoring their temple to unsurpassed beauty and glory. Of course that didn’t win him any forgiveness for placing forbidden idols in their holy place of worship. There was some freedom. They could worship as they wanted and they had limited authority to rule themselves, but it wasn’t enough. Herod was a cruel leader. He was quick to get rid of anyone he perceived as a threat. Taxes were heavy under his command. Some of it used to build temples for Emperor Worship, which really rubbed the Jews the wrong way. The scary thing was his insanity, insecure and afraid of anything that threatened his power, they never knew what he was going to do next. Even his own sons were not immune to his paranoia and jealousy, several had been executed. So when he heard the rumor that a king had been born in Bethlehem, it led him to order all the baby boys younger than 2 slaughtered. The hearts of the people were broken. Anger simmered, despair hovered in the shadows. There seemed to be no way out. They needed help. Where was their God, why didn’t he rescue them? History told many stories of his intervention in desperate times. Those who knew the scriptures preached hope. Over 400 years ago, prophets told of a Savior, a warrior who would come and crush his enemies under his feet, who would lead the captives to victory. He would be a ruler who brought peace and justice to the land, a king whose kingdom would last forever. (Genesis 3:15; Psalm 68:18; Isaiah 2: 4; Daniel 7:13)This was the Messiah they were looking for; they wanted someone to rescue them from the darkness in their lives brought on by the Romans. But that’s not why Jesus came; he came to give them life, but not a life free from the Romans. He came to free them from the darkness, but not the darkness brought on by their circumstances. Because of this, many rejected him and missed out on the life he was offering.

It is easy to see the problem those first century Jews faced when we realize that the Old Testament prophesies of the Messiah seemed to contradict themselves. Many didn’t recognize Jesus as their Messiah, because they were looking for a victorious King who would rule forever. Those prophesies would come true, but there were others that needed to be fulfilled first. Prophesies that spoke of a humble Messiah. One who would be rejected and led like a lamb to slaughter. (Isaiah 53) Jesus explained these contradictions by promising them that He would come again, as a mighty warrior in the clouds,(Luke 21:27) but they didn’t understand what he was talking about. I imagine that those who studied the scripture, looked at the different prophesies and chose the ones that they thought would suit their needs the best. They were looking for political salvation, not necessarily personal salvation. They were proud of their heritage as children of Abraham, and proud of their ability to follow the law. They didn’t need to be free from sin. They could do that themselves. In doing so, they missed out on what they truly needed, the true light and life found only in Jesus.

How often do we make the same mistake? We look to God to resolve our current problems and remove our unpleasant circumstances and when He doesn’t fix them for us right away, we decide He isn’t there. I have learned that trusting God to take care of me does not mean that bad things won’t happen. They are a part of life. The miracle occurs in seeing all the little things God does to help me through those hard times. Trials are guaranteed and God does not promise to protect his children from them, only to be with us while we go through them. Psalm 23:4 – Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” They have a purpose for us; they make us stronger Christians and better people. James 1:2 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything” .

Without Christ, the world is a dark place. In spite of all our human advancements, we are still empty inside. Our sin has built a wall between us and our creator. Jesus came to knock down that wall so we can have a personal relationship with God, and experience a life full of purpose and live a life of light in a dark world. All we need to do is to repent and accept his sacrifice for us, letting him take leadership in our lives.

Thank you for reading! You can continue with #7 Who was John the Baptist.


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