John 1:12

English: King James Version

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

Commentary on this verse

Christ washing the feet of the apostles.

In the Bible, someone’s name represents all of their qualities, their character and attributes as a whole. So people who "believe on the Lord’s name" are not just accepting that He is who He is; they are seeing Him as God, believing in what He taught and adopting it into their lives. And since Jesus represents the divine truth, or the deepest expression of the Lord’s love, it means that we today can become "sons of God" if we open ourselves to the Lord’s love and all it teaches us, and practice that love toward others.

And what is a "son of God"? It does not mean that we will be what Jesus was, but it does mean that we will be what the Lord hopes for us to be. The case is this: When we are born of our parents, we inherit a spectrum of spiritual weaknesses and challenges, places where we are subject to temptation. But if we open ourselves to the Lord and follow His teachings, we can eventually be "born" again, with the evil desires stripped away so that we can live in peacful, loving joy to etenity. This is what is meant here by "sons of God" – if we receive the Lord and follow him we can become angels, dwelling in eternal happiness.

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Study the Inner Meaning

Commentary on this text:


Explanation(s) or references from Swedenborg's works:

Arcana Coelestia 51, 1608, 2009, 2343, 2531, 2666, 2724 ...

Apocalypse Revealed 20, 81, 200, 379, 553, 584, 618 ...

Conjugial Love 129

Divine Providence 230

The Lord 18, 32

Life 17, 51

True Christianity 298, 682

Show references from Swedenborg's unpublished works