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. John 1:10-11

But then the year ends, and that class leaves my care. They go down the hall to other teachers, then out the door to other schools, states, and careers. Every now and again, while I’m out grocery shopping or picking up a gift for a friend, I will bump into a student I had years ago. Often, I will recognize them and remember their name. But, I’m embarrassed to say, there are always a few I don’t recognize or remember. How on earth could I forget a child that I spent an entire year with?! I’ll pass by this student completely oblivious, until they call my name. Then after some nervous laughter and a somewhat awkward conversation, where my memory is jogged, I continue on my way.

It’s embarrassing when you don’t recognize someone you should clearly know, but what’s far worse is what’s happening here in John 1:10-11. God Himself came into the world—the very world He created, but no one recognized Him. Worse still, His own people, whom He rescued from bondage repeatedly, flat-out rejected Him. They took one look at Jesus, and walked the other way.

It would be easy to condemn at this point, were it not for the sticky fact that we do the exact same thing with Jesus. For many of us, our first brush with Jesus was that of rejection. We didn’t want Him or His brand of change. For others of us, maybe we accepted Him, but when He comes knocking on the doors of forbidden areas of our hearts, we aren’t so sure we want Him there, though His way is best.

Take a moment to think back on your journey. When Jesus was first introduced to you, what was your first impression and how’s it changed since? Converse with God about how you’ve seen Him throughout your story.

By Sheila Rennau