Bible Reading Day 131

by markburlinson

Day 131 – John 3:1-21

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Good morning!

At the conclusion of our reading yesterday, John told us that Jesus didn’t trust those who trusted in Him because they saw miracles. The reason given is that human nature changes – if our trust is based on miracles, then any change in the nature of the miracles will lead to a change in our level of trust. 

Today Jesus focuses on truth, rather than miracles, as a reason for trusting. And He does this with a Pharisee called Nicodemus. Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night, under cover of darkness, as you would expect a turncoat to do. He is considering learning from the one his fellow Pharisees have already rejected as a heretic!

Nicodemus starts out with the miracles too, but Jesus quickly moves him to discussing truth, rather than signs. “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” This confounds Nicodemus (remember the Pharisees accepted oral teaching as well as the written Law, so Jesus is giving him something he must either reject or accept as truth. As the two dialogue, Nicodemus is challenged to accept that it is necessary to be born of the Spirit, as well as naturally, in order to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus clearly shows him that this is experienced, not just understood; in fact it is hard to understand something spiritual when we are only earthly. 

The test is: “will you accept and trust what Jesus says, even if you cannot rationally comprehend it?”                                                                    I call it a test, because it is rooted in the TESTimony of Jesus about what He knows and has experienced. In the same way we have a testimony about what we have experienced of God, and that will be a test for others as we share it.

In the context of that testimony, Jesus utters perhaps the most famous sentence in scripture: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” The challenge is there: will you believe? If you will, you have eternal life. And lest this religious inquirer misunderstand the motivation for entering the Kingdom of God, Jesus adds “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” So we are not to trust Jesus out of fear of being judged, but for the benefit of being saved.

Then, in a final challenge to Nicodemus, Jesus shows how judgment is already applied to those who hide from God’s light (for example by coming to seek teaching after dark when nobody can see you!). To be judged, we reject God’s light (Jesus), or to be right (in line with God’s purposes), we come to the light, and let our lives be seen for what they are – lined up with God’s plan.

How can you take another step into the light today? Is there anything hidden that God wants to change? God sent His Son, the light, because He loves us. Let’s come to that love today, as Nicodemus came to Jesus.
 
Have a great day!

Mark.
 
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