November 1

Read John 1

In Today's Reading:

Deity of Christ; John the Baptist; the Lamb of God; Jesus' first miracle in Cana; cleansing of the Temple; Nicodemus

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler (leader) of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night (John 3:1-2). This prominent rabbi probably wanted an uninterrupted conversation with Jesus, so he chose to see Him at night. He was a member of the Sanhedrin, the council which controlled the religious life of Israel, yet he confessed to Jesus: Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God (3:2).

Jesus said to Nicodemus: Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of (from) the flesh (human parents) is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (sons of God) (3:5-6). As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (1:12-13; also I Peter 1:23).

To illustrate how essential it is to be born again (receive eternal life), Jesus reminded Nicodemus of when the Israelites, near the end of their 40 years of wilderness wandering, once again complained about their circumstances. In response, the Lord sent fiery serpents among them and many of the people died. However, when the people cried out to God, He graciously commanded Moses to make a serpent of brass and lift it up on a pole. The people could only be healed by turning their eyes and looking up by faith at the brazen serpent (Numbers 21:5-9). Jesus then said to Nicodemus: As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth (trusts) in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:14-15). He that believeth on Him is not condemned (judged): but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the Only Begotten Son of God (3:18). The serpent was made of brass since brass is a biblical symbol of judgment.

The one who is born again of the Holy Spirit now loves the things he once ignored, and he hates the things he once desired. When we were born the first time, we received the sinful nature which was inherited from Adam. When we are born again (3:3) into the family of God, we receive His divine nature in which the Holy Spirit dwells. Therefore: Walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:8-10).

Word Studies:

1:5 the darkness comprehended it not = the unbelieving world loves sin and consequently cannot see its need for Christ; 1:39 tenth hour = 4 p.m., two hours before evening.

Cross References:

For John 1:23: See Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1. John 2:17: See Psalm 69:9.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for our Military worldwide · The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Jeri Bell and in honor of Joe & Grace Despot's 62nd anniversary; The Arabic Broadcast sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer · Government Officials [listed on their birthdays]: Rep. Darrell Issa (CA) and Rep. John Spratt (SC) · Staff: Dr. John A. Hash · Country: Tajikistan (6 million) southeast central Asia · Major languages: Tajik and Russian · Almost entirely Muslim · 82% Muslim; 4% Russian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Glorify the person, character, and attributes of God as you pray a prayer of praise (Psalm 8:1-9).

Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 3:15