Bible Pathways 11/1/2003
Read John 1 -- 3
In Today's Reading:
Deity of Christ; John the Baptist; the Lamb of God; first miracle in Cana; cleansing of the Temple; Nicodemus
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night (John 3:1). 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 You are 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 the flesh (human parents) is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (sons of God v. 1:12) (3:5-6). You must be born again (of God) (1:13; 3:7; also I Peter 1:23). To illustrate how essential it is to be born again (receive eternal life), Jesus reminded him of when the Israelites, near the end of their 40 years of wilderness wandering, once again complained about their circumstances. So, the Lord sent fiery serpents among them. Thousands of people died. When the people cried out to God, He 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 at the brazen serpent (Numbers 21:5-9). Jesus then said: As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: That whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:14-15) He that believes in Him is not condemned (judged): but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has 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 loves the things he once ignored, and he now 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 into the family of God, we receive His divine nature. Therefore: Walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable to the Lord (Ephesians 5:8-10).
1:5 the darkness comprehended it not = the unbelieving world loves sin and consequently cannot see their need for Christ; 1:39 tenth hour = 4 p.m., two hours before evening.
For John 1:23: See Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1. John 2:17: See Psalm 69:9.
Pray for the 2003 National Bible Reading Movement · for the International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by a family that loves Jesus · Government Officials: Rep. Darrell Issa (CA) and Rep. John Spratt (SC) · Country: Bolivia (8 million) in South America · Major languages: Spanish and Quechua · Religious freedom · 92% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 3% Baha'i · Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for others (Numbers 14:13-19).
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 2:20