“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13 NIV) It would be pretty great to be part of a Royal Family. (We might have to be adopted, but it would still be great.) Many little girls dream of being a princess, and the Disney Princess industry is actually pretty astounding in the breadth of its offerings. There are shoes and dresses and tiaras and play sets and dolls and castles and jewelry and accessories, and oh so much more! Have you ever imagined being Royalty? To live in opulence, to have servants, to be part of the royal family?
It’s not something you can choose. Being Royalty is something you have to be born into, or marry into if you are fortunate enough. It’s kind of like winning the human genetic lottery. If you are fortunate enough to be born in a palace, you might get to sleep on silk sheets and have servants. Someone fortunate enough to be a royal gets to live in opulence and enjoy benefits that most of us only fantasize about. Maybe we could apply for a job as a servant in the palace, but that’s the only way we would ever walk the Royal halls…
In our world the average person has a much better chance of winning the lottery than of becoming part of a Royal family; yet John’s amazing introduction suggests that it is an option open to everyone. When he presents the Word made flesh, he ties the Bethlehem manger directly to the heavenly palace. Jesus affirmed that he had a kingdom, but told Pontius Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.”
This baby who was born in an obscure place and away from the mainstream of worldly power had the authority to confer citizenship in a new kingdom. But wait, there’s more! He also brought every one of us the right to become children of God. As opposed to human convention, religious systems or earthly royalty, this adoption into God’s family did not depend on money or pedigree or ancestry, or on someone’s acceptance or approval, or even upon a husband’s will; it required only that we believe and receive.
Anyone who does that, John says, has “the right to become children of God”. It’s ironic that the baby whose own family was plagued by questions of legitimacy, whose mother was pregnant out of wed-lock under questionable circumstances, has the power to get us adopted into God’s family. The Word, who humbled himself and gave up his own rights, lifted us up and gave us ours. He opened the doors to the palace and invited us in. As a result, we can be God’s children, fully vested in His family, and joint heirs to everything in His kingdom.
The Word made us part of God’s family, with all the attendant rights and privileges. In him, we stand to inherit everything that is rightfully his. Funny—in a way, since he was born so far away and separated from his Father, Jesus himself was a bit of an orphan, raised in a loving foster home. He knew what it was like to be near and yet far away, to be surrounded by family but still somewhat alone…yet the only begotten Son of God still made a way for every one of us to join him as one of God’s beloved adopted children. I’m sure if you ever feel a bit lonely or disconnected this holiday season, he knows just how you feel. He’s invited you into the palace, not as a servant but an equal. If you’d like to sit at the family table, he’s saved a place for you. Believe. Receive.
He never had a scepter, or wore a royal crown;
He never slept on silken sheets, with servants all around.
Jesus never held a court, or walked the halls of state;
He didn’t do the things that politicians think are great.
He never had a palace or the rich material things,
Although he was the Prince of Peace, the very King of kings…
His Kingdom wasn’t of this world, and built on war and greed,
But built upon his Father’s love, where he is Lord indeed.
And where the earthly system has degraded us and stopped us,
This king used his authority to love us and adopt us!
There’s just one catch: to be adopted, you must first believe Him,
And you’ll be in His family as soon as you receive Him!
To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread
For the Kindle Edition, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Bo-Jackson-ebook/dp/B01K5Z0NLA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-2&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread