Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | July 14, 2007

Why Did the World Not Recognize Him ? (Lesson 2: Question 4 Answer)

4.  Why did the world not recognize Him? 

The Apostle uses the term world (κοσμος) over 78 times in this Gospel (18 times during our Lord’s prayer in John 17) and 24 times in his letters (only 47 times in all of Paul’s writings).  This word normally carries a negative connotation and embodies all those who stand against God and His kingdom.18 It appears to also be carrying that negative connotation here in this verse.  Again the Apostle affirms the role of the Word or Christ as the primary agent in creation.  The world or the universe was made through Him, which establishes Him as the maker of all things (1 Cor 8:6).  This Creator not only visited, but dwelled with His creation and was not recognized.  Thus, the glory, honor, and praise that He was entitled to, was absent.  The whole of verse 10, although not as severe as verse 11, appears to be the pronouncement of an indictment against those in the world.  It also appears to be leading up to the significant statements of verse 12 and 13.  The world did not recognize Him, because they were unrelated to Him and not the children of God.  The world has been alienated from its Creator since the rebellion in the garden. This bent prevents them from seeking (Rom 3:9-19) to “know” the true God and causes them to be enamored by the things of this world and preoccupied with the worship of them (Gal 4:8-9, 1 Thess 4:5).  This is enough to condemn them and exclude them from the kingdom of God.19   

The term “know” from the Greek γινωσκω in this verse is used in the same manner as in Matthew 7:23 where our Lord tells the false prophets “I never knew you”. 20 The connotation of “know” in these verses is in the sense of recognizing or being able to acknowledge another.

18 Leon Morris, The Zondervan NASB Study Bible – Study Notes (Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan, 1999) 1515

19 Westminster Larger Catechism Question and Answer 60 (1643)                                                                                                      

20 Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature/ revised and edited by FW Danker (Chicago:  The University Chicago Press) 200


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