(1-15) You Must Be Born Again
Nicodemus recognized the power of God at work in Jesus’ life and he was not loathe to admit (like most other religious leaders of his day), that Jesus came from God. Neither was he ashamed to admit that he did not know all there was to know about Jesus or understand the way of salvation even though he was a teacher of Israel. He humbly sought to know God through His Son and be led to faith by the Savior Himself.
Christians often feel ashamed to admit that they have questions about their faith or don’t clearly comprehend sections of Scripture. They think that God looks down on them because of their misunderstanding, but He does not. God is patient and long-suffering toward His children. He does not mind us bringing questions before Him. Sometimes He may answer them, sometimes He may waive them. C. S. Lewis said, “When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of ‘No answer.’ It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, ‘Peace, child; you don’t understand.”
It is fine if we don’t understand everything. Jesus once told His disciples, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Paul also captured our lack of understanding quite accurately when he said, “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”
(16-17) For God So Loved the World
God did not send His Son, Jesus the Christ, into the world to condemn us. That was already done. We are born condemned – condemned to death, darkness, and eternal destruction. God sent His Son into the world to save us from our condemnation, and He did so because He loved us. David Jeremiah said, “Saving us is the greatest and most concrete demonstration of God’s love, the definitive display of His grace throughout time and eternity.”
Favorite verse: (16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.