Seeking Answers for Life’s Questions

Key Verse: “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
—John 3:17

Selected Scripture:
John 3:1-17

NICODEMUS EVIDENTLY was a good man, a man of learning and influence, and a prominent member of the Jewish Sanhedrin. No doubt he was impressed by the teachings and the miracles of our Lord, for when he went to Jesus by night (John 3:1,2) we find him ready to acknowledge Jesus as a great teacher sent of God. Being a ruler in Israel, it has been supposed that Nicodemus did not want to be seen by others of the Sanhedrin, although in those times visiting usually took place in the evening. The type of kingdom he and all Israel expected of the Messiah was not the kind of kingdom being proclaimed by Jesus and his disciples.

It was with astonishment that Nicodemus heard from the great Teacher that he and others could not possibly enter the kingdom without being born again. His mind ran to the natural human birth, and he inquired how it was possible that a grown man could be born again. Such a question gave our Lord opportunity to explain that man’s human birth is an illustration of a higher birth—to the spiritual nature, saying, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (vs. 6) Jesus said that no one can either see or enter into the heavenly kingdom, except he be born of the Spirit. Jesus attempted to convey to Nicodemus the difference between human beings and spirit beings. He said, “The 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;” they can come and go as the wind.—John 3:8, New International Version

Nicodemus was astounded at the thought that the kingdom of God would be so different from what he himself and others had expected. “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and you do not understand these things? I 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. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” (John 3:9-12, NIV) Paul confirms this: “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: … neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”—I Cor. 2:14

Jesus then related the experience of Moses and the brazen serpent in the wilderness, which pictures his coming death on the cross. The whole world is dying because it has been ‘bitten’ by the fiery serpent of sin. It was, therefore, needful that our Lord should be ‘lifted up’ as a sin-offering on behalf of the world, so that eternal life might be offered to all. Jesus said, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”—John 3:16

Jesus’ came at his First Advent in the flesh as a sacrifice for sin. In his Millennial reign he will come with “healing in his [beams] wings.” (Mal. 4:2) Then all men will have answers to the mysteries of life.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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