That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:9-13

He was coming. Like in a movie.

It’s the premise of a lot of great westerns: At a desolate time in a desolate place, the stage is set for an unlikely hero to emerge; only instead of the gunslinging cowboy riding in to save the town (and the dame–wrong genre), it was Jesus, and H was coming to save the world.

But the world did not know Him.

Think of that. Creator God walked among His creation for the purpose of saving them, and they had no clue. But why would they? First, H was too average looking to be noticed: “he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (Isaiah 53:2). Second, He was too poor to be impressive. According to the Law, a lamb was the required sacrifice for atonement of sin unless someone was too poor to afford one, in which case two doves or pigeons could be offered instead: “22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. (Luke 2:22, 24). Third, He was from Nazareth, a town so small and off the beaten path that it was considered uneducated, backwoods, full of hicks and sticks: “

45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. (John 1:45-46).

He came to His own, and they did not receive Him.

Jesus was raised in Nazareth, but He didn’t stay there. When He claimed to be the Messiah, they rejected Him– Then they ran Him outta town on a rail. “

28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.

30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,” (Luke 4:28-30).

But to all who received Him…

To all. Besides faith, there were no requirements for having a relationship with Jesus. No status, no age, no race, no gender. No prior education or track record of good behavior– the greater the transgression, the greater the forgiveness. He welcomed the poor, the rich, the intelligent, and the not-so-much. He, in fact, broke every cultural, political, and social boundary in pursuit of the all: “28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28).

He gave the right to become children of God.

Through Jesus, we lay claim to heaven’s territory, its right and its riches. Jesus becomes our brother and God our Father. “16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:16).

So yeah, it was tough to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, the Hero, especially because of what He looked like, how He acted, and who He chose to spend time with. But those who got it, those who followed the renegade once their eyes were opened– they reaped the reward. And so can we. And with Him we become our own kind of renegade– with Jesus, ride or die.


Worship the Father and Son for their unique characteristics, and ask God to give you strength and courage to proudly proclaim you follow a renegade.


  • What is most striking to you about the way Jesus began His ministry years?
  • Jesus repeatedly extended His hand to all types of people. In what ways do you need to be more like Him? Who do you struggle to welcome?
  • In what ways are you a renegade for Jesus? In what ways do you need to become more of one?