November 6, 2018

John 3:1-2… Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.

            This was a most interesting encounter. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and they were generally opposed to Jesus. At the end of His ministry, they championed for His death. Apparently, he feared the other Pharisees because he came to Jesus at night rather than in the day when he could be easily seen. He considered Jesus to be a great teacher, which is one of the current misunderstandings. He was not only a great teacher but he had come from God.

            Who, to you, is Jesus? He must be our ‘all in all’ or we miss His importance.  He is more than a great teacher; He is more than our Savior; He is more than our healer: He is our Lord. It is a deception to say that Jesus was a great teacher, but ignore His teachings. It is also a deception to say He is Savior but not honor Him as Lord. He is good, completely good, and perfect. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights, who is in heaven. (James 1:17)  God looked down at the children of men and thought, “Here… here is my Son in whom I am well pleased. Receive Him.”  When someone rejects Jesus, he rejects God. And according to the text we are studying, he cannot see the kingdom of God.(Verse 3) We live in a time of great deception. Many people claim to love God but actually just love what he does for them. There is another verse in this story that I will comment on. It is one of the most quoted verses in the Bible.

John 3:16…   For God so loved the world that gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

            One reading of that verse emphasizes us… ‘the world’ and ‘whoever’. The correct reading emphasizes God and his undeniable love. How do you read it? Is Jesus your Savior because of you or because of God? He is a gift to us from God, so really, He is both; but, which one drives your thinking? Figure it out.