In Today's Scripture Reading:
Deity of Christ; John the Baptist; Jesus as 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 3:1-2). This man was a prominent member of the Sanhedrin, which controlled the religious life of Israel and violently opposed Jesus. By coming to Jesus at night, he may have wanted private time with Him or simply to avoid strife with other Sanhedrin members. Yet, despite the willful opposition of his colleagues, 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 the flesh (human parents) is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (children of God v. 1:12) (3:5-6). Ye must be born again (3:7) of God (1:13). Ye have purified your souls . . . Being born again . . . by the Word of God (I Peter 1:22-23).
To illustrate how essential it is to be born again (of a spiritual nature), Jesus reminded him of when the Israelites, near the end of their 40 years of wandering in the wildnerness, once again complained about their circumstances. So, the Lord sent fiery serpents among them and 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 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 believeth 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). And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like (Luke 6:46-47). That serpent was made of brass because brass is a biblical symbol of judgment.
The one who is born again of the Holy Spirit desire(s) the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby (I Peter 2:2) loves the ways of godly living that he once ignored and now hates the sinful things he once desired. When we were born the first time, we received the sinful nature which was inherited from Adam (Romans 5:12-21). When we are born again into the family of God, we receive His divine nature into our spirits. Because of this we 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).
1:5 the darkness comprehended it not =b> the unbelieving world that cannot see its need for a Savior; 1:39 tenth hour =b> 4 p.m. by Jewish time, two hours before evening.
For John 1:23: See Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1. John 2:17: See Psalm 69:9.
Pray for our Military worldwide • The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts for the month of November sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer & M/M Ronald D. Strong • Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Government Official/s [listed on their birthday/s] and the state/s represented (statistics from The Original U.S. Congress Handbook): Rep. Darrell Issa (CA) and Rep. John Spratt Jr. (SC) • Country: Niger (10 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: French and Hausa • (Religious statistics from Operation World and Religious Freedom in the World) Christian evangelism is limited • 89% Muslim; 10% animist; .4% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Pray not to be envious of others (Psalm 37:1).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9