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The true light that enlightens every person was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world knew him not. John 1:9-10

I have often thought that the above text from John’s gospel is the most ironic and puzzling in all of Scripture. It is a situation that I find so vexing that it is actually absurd: Each person and the world around them was created by the Eternal Son of God, yet they do not know it.

This was brought to my attention again recently while reading an in-flight airline magazine on a flight from New York to Chicago. The magazine was the usual fare—a few articles about interesting destinations and restaurant reviews; a personal profile of a famous artist; some shorter humanistic blather about self-empowerment and personal advancement; and dietary advice. This was rounded out by the usual spate of ads aimed at business people—the latest communications and Internet technology, how to improve productivity, manage unmotivated employees and of course how to maximize profits. Of most interest to me were the route maps and the first-page letter from the airline’s president, which touted the carrier’s growth while apologizing between the lines for their crummy service and vowing to serve the travelers of the future with renewed zeal and efficiency.

As I put the magazine back in the seat pocket, it came to me as a sort of epiphany that while the magazine’s content covered a wide range of human activity and interaction, it was completely and totally devoid of any sort of mention or reflection on who or what made this amazingly diverse created order, which was laid out under my window some 35,000 feet below.

Then the text from John again popped into my mind, and I thought “Here is the perfect illustration of that strange text. A publication that serves to reinforce the post-modern idea that the world and its multi-faceted and almost infinite diversity of related parts and movements have no fixed point of reference. Just a stream-of-consciousness theater of the absurd with players and props entering and exiting the stage for a brief time.”

Other Scriptures elaborate on John’s familiar prologue, which says: “In the beginning was the Word [creative Logos], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He [Jesus] was in the beginning with God; all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4). (Some other key texts which elaborate on this statement that the world was created by Jesus Christ are Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2-3, 10; and 1 John 1:1-2).

It is indeed a baffling enigma that most human beings, whose molecular and cellular structure, organs, brains and nervous systems have been created by Jesus Christ, have no idea who He is. Or that the entire created order that they interact with, the air they breathe, the food they eat, the physical objects they make and use, have all been created by Jesus—the eternal Logos—who spoke all creation into being.

How do we help the unbelieving world understand this? Probably not by theological or philosophical argumentation, but by the simple sharing of the gospel with those we know. But first we must win their respect, friendship and trust, and live holy loving lives that demonstrate the hidden reality of Jesus in the world. Then the Holy Spirit can convince them that “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).

Mark C. Albrecht

– This article comes from AI’s “No Higher Calling,” a devotional for lawyers.

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