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The World Knew Him Not
January 30, 2008
Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
The following is by Pastor Buddy Smith, Malanda, Queensland --

The world knew him not.

That’s what the Holy Spirit said in John 1:10, “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.”

The world knew Him not.

That is an amazing fact. At face value, this Scripture teaches that creation did not recognise its Creator.

Have you ever pondered how complete was the humility of Christ in His incarnation? The Holy Spirit has described the humiliation of our Lord Jesus with these words, “...being in the form of God (He) thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phil. 2:6-8

We know from this text that He came incognito into our world, unrecognised by His own creatures. This Scripture text raises several questions, “How well cloaked was the glory of the Son of God? How completely did He hide the transcendence of His nature from His creatures? How perfectly did He conceal His glorious attributes when the Infinite God became an Infant Man?” Our text declares that He was totally successful. He cloaked His glory in human form.
The world knew Him not.

It was not always so. Before His Incarnation all His creatures knew Him. The stars in their courses, the sun in its strength, the earth in its orbit, all these sprang forth at His Word and marched at His command. The Red sea stood up for ramparts and Jordan uncovered its pebbly bed when He required. Fire fell from a cloudless sky upon Elijah’s altar, the great fish swallowed the errant prophet, and the fiery furnace lost its heat when He said so. His creation knew Him from the beginning, and rejoiced to do His will.

And it will recognise Him in the end. The elements shall melt with a fervent heat and pass away with a great noise at the unveiling of His full glory. All the dusty, ashy atoms of all the dead will hear their Maker’s voice and reassemble at His command. Without exception they will stand before Him at the judgment.

But our text says the world knew Him not in His Incarnation. This is an amazing truth! Is it not amazing that when He came into His world the habiliments of His humanity concealed the glory of the Son of God so completely that no created thing knew Him? Concealed at least until He began to speak the Words His Father gave Him to speak, until He began to work the works the Father gave Him to work, until He began to fulfill the Will of His Father? And when He did, His creatures awoke to His true identity. The scales fell off their eyes. Water became wine gladly at His will. Blind eyes blinked seeingly against the light of day under His care. Atrophied limbs heard His Word and moved with strength. Deaf ears and dumb tongues broke their restraints and resumed their proper functions. The atoms of a lad’s lunch multiplied at His blessing and fed a multitude. The fish in the sea heard His call and rushed to fill the nets. The stormy waves of the sea lay down at His command and licked the sides of the boat. The bodies of the dead felt new life at His touch and arose to serve Him.

If atoms and red blood cells and every other created thing had possessed the ability to speak, they would have lifted their voices again and again and shouted, “Our Master has come! Our Creator has come down to walk among us! Let us do His will!” Did not our Lord Himself tell us that the stones themselves would cry out if His praise was hindered by the religious mutes of Jerusalem?

There was only one of His creatures that did not leap up in joyful recognition when they heard His Words, when they saw His Works. Man only, with granite heart and flinty mind received Him not. John the Baptist exposed the blindness of their unbelief when he told them, “There standeth One among you whom ye know not;” (1:26) They didn’t know their Creator. Man, the one creature made in his Creator’s likeness, did not recognise Him!

So God sent them a man, a prophet, a witness. He bore witness of the Light they could not see. And God blessed His Word to their salvation so that John testified, “We beheld His glory! We recognised our Creator! We have discovered who He is! He is the Word! He is the Eternal God! He is the Light of the world! He is the Lifegiver! He is the only begotten Son of God! He is the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world! He is the Water of Life! He is the Good Shepherd and the Door of the sheepfold! He is the Vine and we are His branches. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! He is our risen Lord!”

There is a day coming when all creation will recognise its maker. Though the wicked will mourn at His appearance, the return of Christ will also be a time of great joy. “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord: for He cometh...” Psa 96:11-13a

Ah, yes, all creation will recognise its Maker and rejoice at His coming.

And we will join our voices with theirs. One of our hymns will be, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” We who know Him long for our new bodies with their new voices and hope for the day when we will joyfully praise Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. Hasten the day, Lord.

In fact, we need not wait. Today would be a good day for choir rehearsal.

We need not wait for His coming. Let His praises begin.

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