27. Nicodemus comes to Jesus- John 3:1-21
-John 3:1-21 is perhaps the most potent and powerful theological passage in all of Scripture for the purpose of understanding how a person can be saved eternally. Here we see a teacher of the Law and a Pharisee ruler of the Jews secretly approaching Jesus to admit that He is of God. Christ astutely turns the conversation to a message of salvation through being “born again (John 3:3).” This is a new concept to this teacher of the Law and inquiry is made to a deeper level. Jesus tells him you must be born of water (natural birth, physical existence, John 3:5-6) and have a spiritual birth of the Spirit to enter into the Kingdom of God (John 3:5-6, 8). Jesus reprimands Nicodemus for not being able to comprehend such things as teacher of Israel. Certainly Jesus is saying that these who have learned the “traditions of men” had missed the point of God’s call and work in their midst (Mark 7:5-9). *Application* How easy it is to get sidetracked and off course in the most basic of spiritual matters. Christ came that we may have new life and have that new life abundantly (2 Corinthians 5:17, John 10:10). Understand the total transformation that the new life in Christ brings (Romans 12:2). Following rules and regulations of the law of any sort will leave you frustrated and empty because it is impossible. God knows that and gives us what we need, grace not justice. Turn to Him and receive His forgiveness by being born again.
-Jesus now explains who He is and how He got there. He came down (descended) to the earth, emptied Himself as God to taking on certain limitations of incarnate life (Philippians 2:5-11), and had the purpose of lifting Himself up for the salvation and redemption of all who would look to Him just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:4-9, John 3:14). “Whoever believes will in Him have eternal life (John 3:15).” God so loved this world that He sent His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish (spiritual death) but have eternal life (John 3:16). *Application* This is the best news ever given to man. We must receive this gift for ourselves and share it with everyone we possibly can.
-*Application* Christ did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. But belief is required. God gives the opportunity and we must accept in faith. Judgment comes as a result of unbelief and many men have loved that dark state more than the illuminating Light of the Lord. Practice the truth and come into His marvelous Light wrought in God (John 3:21).
Verse to Memorize- John 3:16
28. Jesus’ disciples and John the Baptist baptizing- John 3:22-23; 4:1-2
-Christ was spending time with His disciples and baptizing. He was having His disciples do the baptizing. This shows His delegation and instructive nature in the preparation process of His inner circle of leadership that would eventually turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6). We see an increase in Jesus’ following at this point as the masses began to become aware of His public ministry. *Application* There is a time and purpose for all things. If you are in leadership of any kind, take the time to care for and develop your subordinates. Train them in the way they should go and when they are old (mature) they will not depart (Proverbs 22:6).
Verse to Memorize- John 3:22