John 3:16-21: I love the setting of John 3. Jesus has just been having a late night conversation with a church leader whose heart was being stirred and yet he (Nicodemus) did not quite understand what Jesus was saying. They had talked about being born again and Nicodemus is so literal he asks how can a grown man go back into his mother’s womb. Jesus responds revealing not a water baptism like from a mother’s womb, but a Spirit one where the Holy Spirit comes into one’s heart and cleanses it from sin to be born a new with a clean heart as the Spirit comes in to take up residence. I am sure the religious leader pondered why God would want to redeem man. This is where our scripture today picks up because Jesus says, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not really die when life here on earth ends, but will live on in eternity with God the Father. I can just imagine how the church man’s head must have been spinning at this. Then Jesus went on to assure Nicodemus. God did not send Jesus into the world to condemn it, but to give this life everlasting. To a man whose life was set on keeping the law Jesus had just blown his mind. The law condemned all who failed to keep it. Condemnation was the fear for every man and yet Jesus is saying that love conquered that condemnation and the He, Jesus was the Son sent by God to make this happen. Then Jesus really hit the nail on the head when he said, The Light came into the world and the people loved darkness instead of this Light. Ouch! Nicodemus knew that he was a part of the religious community that rejected this very truth that Jesus was talking about. Then Jesus said, those who deny the Son are condemned already. Boy did Nicodemus not already know this because he lived a life of trying to keep the law and looking for the Messiah to come who would set them free. Jesus was saying He was the Messiah long awaited. Nicodemus came to a crisis of belief. Did he accept what Jesus was saying or deny it. He had all of the information. It was now time to make a decision. Many are standing at this same point. They know the truth, but will they allow it to change them. We aren’t told Nicodemus’ decision here, but when Jesus died his decision to follow was revealed. Oh how I long for all who read this to know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Our Lord and Savior. May we all be bold in sharing Him today.
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