What I read today
Numbers 25-26; Psalm71; Jeremiah 5; John 3; 2 Thessalonians 1
Most people know John 3 verse 16. I’ve heard it called the Gospel in a nutshell.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
There’s so much more in John chapter 3.
The chapter starts off with Nicodemus coming to Jesus in the night. Nicodemus had figured out who Jesus was. But as a member of the religious leadership, he was in a tight spot. To come out and publicly support Jesus would threaten his livelihood. Members of the Sanhedrin were already voicing opposition to Jesus. So he sneaks in to see Jesus when no one is looking. The rest of the encounter leaves Nicodemus trying to understand the mysteries of God.
First Jesus talks about being born again. Some have turned this into a lighting bolt religious conversion. For some that’s true. But I think for more it’s a slow process. Just like Nicodemus. It happens over time with the slow moving of the spirit of God.
Second, Jesus tells Nicodemus where he’s really from. Jesus says to the world that he is from Heaven itself. Jesus tells Nicodemus that Jesus has descended from Heaven. And he points to an event in Israel’s past. The event in Numbers 21 of the bronze serpent. Israel had been unfaithful, so God sent poisonous snakes to the camp. Moses interceded for the people, and God told him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. Anyone who looked to the bronze serpent would be saved. Now Jesus was saying that all of us bit by the curse of sin would need to look to the cross to be saved. Look to Jesus and his work there.
Then, of course, we read John 3:16.
After that Jesus tells us over and over again that if you believe in him, you are saved. It’s as if he’s looking at Nicodemus and saying, I know you’re a scholar, I know you’re a teacher of the people. But I also know that right now you’re searching. You don’t understand what’s happening. But I’m telling you to trust me. Believe in me. I’ll take care of the rest. That’s who I am, and that’s what I do.
He’s telling each one of us the same thing.