Wednesday, February 24, 2010

John 3:1-21

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."
3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.a]'>[a]"
4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spiritb]'>[b] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'Youc]'>[c] must be born again.' 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
9"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.
10"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.d]'>[d] 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.e]'>[e]
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,f]'>[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.g]'>[g] 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."h]'>[h]
This may be the most important blog entry we have ever studied. Many bible scholars think the bible, (especially the New Testament,) can be summarized in these verses. We all know 3:16, but the rest of these verses are very important as well.
Nicodemus was a pharisee, a religious ruler. Jesus' conversation with him gave his ministry legitimacy. In vs. 3 we are introduced to the concept of "born again." Vs. 5 explains that this re-birth is by the spirit, (through Christ.) In vs. 1-15 Jesus explains that physical and spiritual life is different. We are born into the world physically from our mothers, but we are born spiritually through Christ. It is our spirits that will leave this world one day and join Christ in heaven. All people will not be re-born, all spirits will not leave the earth. This is a complex thought and we will discuss it more at Transitions next Tuesday.
Re-Read vs. 16-21. We all know 16, but the verses following explain that verse and it's importance. Jesus was not sent here to condemn, but to save. The light is here, and the Spirit is the light. The problem is that it is more difficult to hide things in the light, and that is why we are afraid of it. Here is good news- We don't need to hide our lives because God knows all! Jesus came to give us the light so that we can find our way from sin and evil, the Light is not for God to see us more clearly.
1. What does Jesus mean by "born again."
2.What does Jesus mean by going to heaven through Him?
3.Why would we chose the darkness of evil over the light of Christ?
Prayer- Lord, Thank you for giving us your Son to show us the way to you. May we use that light to see our paths, both here on earth and in Heaven. Go-Fight-Win. Amen