Back in Feb of 2011, a man named Rick took a new job at a Checkers restaurant in Florida. After one day on the job, he was taken back by how rude and verbally abusive the manager was to his staff. So, Rick decided to confront the manager about it. As you can imagine, being a new employee, that meeting did not go well. The manager claimed that he HAD to yell at his staff to keep them motivated and then the manager smugly asked Rick why he should listen to him. He asked “If you think you’re so smart, how long have you been in the restaurant business?” Rick replied: “I’ve been in the restaurant business for over 20 years and I know exactly how to run a restaurant and this is the wrong way...and I’m shutting this location down immediately.” You see, what the manager did not realize was that he was speaking to the Founder/CEO of the company who had gone undercover for a TV show called (you guessed it) Undercover Boss.
In John 1:10-11 the apostle painted a grim picture of humanity lost and blind in its sin. He wrote “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 tells us that Jesus, the divine Son of God and promised Messiah, came into the world and was both ignored and rejected. This was not just a CEO of a company, this was the second person of the Trinity! The watching world still looks at Jesus and either scoffs or shrugs it shoulders with indifference. But, despite the rejection and scorn, Jesus came with great power and purpose.
Even as verses 10-11 offer a crushing reminder of humanity’s rebellion against God, it still offers hope in the form of a contrast. Verse 12 tells us that for all those who receive Christ and believe in Him, He GIVES them the right to become children of God. Verse 13 goes on to say that all of this happens through the new birth…which itself is a gift. This is why the Gospel is such good news! In the midst of humanity’s rebellion and blindness, Jesus stepped onto the scene and freely offered Himself to secure salvation for those who were lost in their sin and rebellion. The very fact that the divine Son of God would ever freely choose to make Himself known to a bunch of rebels like us is breath-taking. All of it is by free grace alone! This gives the people of God hope, confidence, and assurance in this life. We do not serve a dead moral teacher, we serve a living king and Savior who is STILL calling His people to Himself.
– Rev. Dave Latham is the pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church.