9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. (NRSV).
9 ἦν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινὸν ὃ φωτίζει πάντα ἄνθρωπον ἐρχόμενον εἰς τὸν κόσμον.
10 Ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ἦν, καὶ ὁ κόσμος δι’ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ ὁ κόσμος αὐτὸν οὐκ ἔγνω. 11 εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθεν, καὶ οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον. 12 ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτόν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, 13 οἳ οὐκ ἐξ αἱμάτων οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκὸς οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρὸς ἀλλ’ ἐκ θεοῦ ἐγεννήθησαν. (SBL Greek New Testament).
“I Think I Believe, Therefore I Believe?”
— DeCart B. Forhorse.
So, there’s more to see in these verses!
This Logos, the Word, who was with God from the Beginning, through whom all things were made, and in whom there is Life; who is also the True Light: enters into this world.
OK, so this is super simplistic, but what if you went to a party, and you were already a bit scared about walking in because you’re wondering if these people will like you and accept you — so, feel the apprehension — and then you walk in…
Yeah, ouch. Not only do they not like you, but they wish you were dead.
But then, say, there’s this party next door with scratchy music playing from a beat up box; and these people are not nearly as cool, their jobs not as interesting, they hang out at local pubs rather than the fine dining places, drink cheap wine — but they embrace what you’re about.
That’s roughly what we have going on here. But the second group did more than simply accept the Word into their social circle — the text says they believed in his name.
Now this is weird. Sorta Twilight Zone-ish:
The noun believe (pistis) is used 243 times in the NT.
The verb to believe (pisteo) is used 243 times in the NT.
And John is interesting because he uses the Greek verb to believe (pisteo) more than any other New Testament writer: 98 times. In fact, John’s Gospel never employs the noun, only the verb.
John, very simply, believed belief is a verb, not a noun. It’s not that one has belief, or believes without motion, or simply believes in one’s mind…belief is lived out.
It’s in motion!
So, there’s a quote so old that maybe there are some who haven’t heard it yet: “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
Well…for you…is it only a label? An intellectual conviction? Or is there evidence you believe?
Yeah, I’m shifting uncomfortably in my chair as I type this!