Updated: Jan 3, 2020
Nick at Night
Beginning in John 3, Jesus has intentional conversations with a variety of people. First up is a knowledgeable, well known Pharisee named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin (7:50-51), which meant that he knew God’s word inside and out. Yet, he did not know Jesus.
Then, like today, many know God’s word, but fewer allow God’s word to take them to a personal relationship with Jesus.
For a Pharisee like Nicodemus salvation lay in the careful observance of Israel’s laws and the traditions of the elders. Jesus blew that idea up and said he had to be “born again” - born not only of the flesh but of the spirit. That blew his mind. Nicodemus, although he was a teacher, was knowledgeable about scriptures but not knowledgeable about spiritual things. That’s why Jesus refers to a well-known Old Testament story from Numbers chapter 21 where the serpent that was lifted up for the healing of all that were afflicted. Nicodemus would have known all about Numbers 21, but he hadn’t made the connection to Jesus.
John is showing us that you don’t need a PhD in Theology to know Jesus – actually in this case, deep and complex knowledge was a hindrance to understanding the simplicity of the gospel. To help clear things up John repeats 3 times in chapter 3 that simple belief is all that is required for eternal life.
3:15 “…. whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
Chapter three and John’s emphasis on belief leading to eternal life fits into John’s overall purpose which is clearly stated in 20:31 “…but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Do you or someone you know need to move towards an intimate walk with Jesus as a result of reading, studying and knowing His Word?
Enjoy Walking with the Savior Today,