I’m sure that the first verse that comes to mind for this chapter is John 3.16. While it is a phenomenal verse, I would also like for us to take note of the things surrounding it which are just as fantastic and monumental.
In this chapter, Nicodemus, a Pharisee, comes to visit Jesus by night. Jesus explains to him that “except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Now Nicodemus was a smart man, but his first thought and response were physically minded - how can a man enter the womb a second time? I honestly can’t blame him for thinking so literally as I often misread the meaning of what God says. Or worse, purposely twist His Word to fit my own agenda.
Jesus redirects Nicodemus and basically tells him that if He (Jesus) speaks of earthly things and we don’t understand, how will we understand the heavenly things. Nicodemus knew that Jesus was a man of God, but he didn’t realize that Jesus was the Messiah. As a Pharisee, Nicodemus would have spent most of his life training to serve God and would have known the Scripture enough to be looking for the coming Messiah. Here is the Messiah standing in front of him, and he almost misses it. I believe this is a picture of today’s society. We have the whole Bible and tons of churches on every street corner, and yet while many people know about God or claim to be Christian, there are so many people who miss what’s right in front of them; the free gift of salvation and a personal relationship with Christ.
Jesus then goes on to explain some amazing things. Specifically the beginning of the Gospel. There is a God that loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son to die for our sins and pay that sin debt. If we believe in Jesus, we will have everlasting life. Jesus wasn’t set to condemn, but rather to save. Choosing to not believe on Jesus is what condemns you. Jesus is the Light that came into our dark world, and no surprise... many people love the darkness more than light. We see that truth over and over again in the world and even sometimes in our own life. I’ll be the first to admit that there are many times that I lose the battle to some recurring sins in my life. I am just so thankful to have the Light of the world love me personally. I pray that because of the goodness, love, light, and mercy that He brought to my life, that I can turn around and offer those same things to the world around me and point them to Christ.
I’m going to leave off with a very important and possibly offensive verse that can either be hope or despair… depending on what each individual chooses.
Verse 36 - “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not on the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
There is only hope and salvation in Christ, and there are consequences for those who choose the path of darkness.
I hope that we as Christians will continually pray for those who haven’t yet made a choice and for those who sadly haven’t chosen God. I hope that we can be transparent with our lives and paint the whole picture with love, compassion, and sincerity.