John 3:16 is the tip of the iceberg of a Grand Canyon making sized blessing! If you are sailing along and you only see the tip, isn’t that dangerous? In nautical terms, wouldn’t that be like sailing blind? Isn’t that a handicap to a sailor? Well, it’s a handicap to believers too.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. “
That is the part we all memorize as a kid and our parents asked us to recite to guests and impress them. It’s a biggie! God’s love is huge. But I didn’t know what the context of John 3:16 was for a long long time. Who was talking here? What were they talking about?
Let’s go back to verse 1 of Chapter 3.
Verse 1 “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”
Now….why would Nicodemus, the leader of the most powerful influential religion in Israel, be sneaking around in the middle of the night? Because of fear, he was afraid. Here he concedes that Jesus Christ must be from God, but does he want the rest of the world to know? Not a chance! He’s too afraid.
3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
This may seem like a silly question for Nicodemus to ask, it sounds like a desperate stab at understanding. So Jesus explains.
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
Here Jesus explains the gift of Holy Spirit that God intends to pour out and give through salvation to all who believe. What a simple and eloquent way of explaining this spiritual truth. I can’t think of a simpler way. This is how I’d explain the gift of Holy Spirit to a child, but does Nicodemus get it?
“9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?”
Nope. He’s still trying to over complicate it. Keep in mind that Nicodemus is a religious leader, he had read the old Testament from cover to cover. He was waiting for the promised Messiah. They knew that when He came he, the Messiah, would change everything. Their hopes and expectations lay in the physical restoration of Israel, not in the spiritual. So here Jesus is trying to help him, but does he get it? Nope! See, Nicodemus is just like the rest of us. Our expectations of God limit our believing and because our believing always comes before any answer to prayer, we limit our success with God.
What is Jesus incredulous response to this expectation?
“10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”
It’s like Jesus says, COME ON NICK! Get your head in the right place. Quit limiting God to the physical, you are a religious leader. You should know better!
“11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?”
God is Holy, and God is Spirit. Right? What died with Adam and Eve when they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden? Not their physical, because they continued to physically live. They lost their connection to God. So if, originally, we were created with body, soul and spirit, and they lost one of those what were they then? Handicapped. They were then spiritually blind. Spiritually dead. The greatest restoration God could ever give to mankind was to heal this life sucking handicap. The lame shall walk, the blind shall see. That is a spiritual truth! Jesus goes on…
“13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Spirit is eternal. So here Jesus is getting to the crux of his point.
“16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
God loves us. He wants us with Him eternally, and He wants as He originally wanted for us, spiritual sight. Do know what God gave us with this spiritual restoration? Do we have any clue all the wonderful abilities and spiritual appurtenances we have? Most don’t. Having legs is great, but what if you never knew what they were good for? Wouldn’t you want to know you could climb mountains, run away from danger and kick your adversary? Sure! Is that spiritual truth being taught? If you haven’t learned don’t you want to? I’d like to start a new series of posts today called, “Your Spiritual Body”. Let’s find out how God meant for us to be fully charged, and connected eternal beings for Him.
So tomorrow we’ll venture on into the rest of this iceberg of blessing. Till then, enjoy your connection because baby we have it back!
God bless you today!
Post # 2 in this series is: I hate Being Lied To…