Lent Series: Sermon on the Mount (Part 3)

After Jesus spoke about life and its worries, we all began to chat amongst ourselves about all that has been said so far.  There was much to take in and some of us wanted to know more.  We couldn’t get enough of what Jesus was teaching.  Others were not so sure.

Jesus told us to not judge others for we will be judged and treated with the standard we judge others.  Why worry about other people’s issues and sins when we have our own to deal with?  I was thinking about the ladies gossiping all the time.  They drive me crazy always talking about others and what they are doing.

Jesus went on to say we are not to waste what is lovely and precious on those who don’t want to listen or are unholy because all they do is turn it around and attack us. I guess I shouldn’t keep trying to push God on to the gentleman next door.  Mother and Father have always done this so I just joined in.  He never listens to us, he just insists on accusing us of being “holier than thou” people and is always rude to us.  So not only am I to love and forgive him, I should stop trying to push God’s laws upon him.  I should live it out in my own life and maybe, he will see what a loving God I serve.

Jesus says in our prayers we are to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking on heaven’s doors.  If we are persistent with God, we will receive what we ask, we will find what we desire and the door of heaven will be opened.  God gives good gifts to those who ask.  I was reminded about Hannah who pleaded with God for a baby and promised if she had one she would give him back to God.  Sure enough, after many times crying before God, she fell pregnant and had a baby boy named Samuel.  Samuel grew up to be a great prophet and was the one who anointed David king.  Jerusalem is David’s city.  I can do the same as Hannah for any situation.  I can think of a few things I could pray for which I would love to see answers.

In the middle of everything Jesus was teaching, he taught the golden rule: We are to treat others the way we want to be treated.

He talked about the narrow gate.  The gate to life is very narrow and the path is difficult, only a few find it.  Yet the highway to hell is broad and the gate is wide.  Sadly so many people choose the broad way.  It is no wonder why so many go this way as there are false prophets disguised as sheep in wolves’ clothing.  We can identify them by their fruit in the ways they act.  A good tree is known for producing good fruit.  The bad trees get chopped down.  If we look and listen carefully we can tell the false prophets from the real ones by the actions and fruit that people display.

Jesus says that not everyone who calls him Lord will enter into Heaven. The only ones who will enter are those who actually do the will of God.  The ones that don’t will be told by Jesus “I never knew you.”

My heart just sank.  I so much want to follow Jesus.  I have seen so many wonderful things he has done and I have listened to him teach.  Yet, I still struggle with the things of this earth.  My heart wants to go through the narrow gate yet my mind says don’t be so crazy.

Jesus finished his teachings by telling us to build our lives on a solid foundation.  The wise man builds his house on a rock which doesn’t crumble in adversity when the winds blow and the hard rains fall.  The foolish man builds his house on sand which collapses under the pressure of adversity.  Everything Jesus said was taught with great authority more so than the rabbis.  I really enjoyed listening to him.

As you can see, I have a lot to think over.  Jesus explained very clearly how to live a holy life.  Simply put, God should be first in our lives and everyone else second and ourselves last.  I have followed Jesus this far, I am not going to turn my back on him.  Oh how I desire to be holy as he is holy.  How I long to be in his presence forever.  I know I have a lot to learn, things to give up, people to love and forgive, well basically I need a life change. Forget what my head is telling me, I am going to follow my heart for a change.  I choose this day to follow Jesus for the rest of my life.

I have decided to follow Jesus.  I have decided to follow Jesus.  I have decided to follow Jesus.  No turning back, no turning back.

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For further study:

Matthew 7; Luke 6:30-49

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Lent Series:  Sermon on the Mount- Part Two

The day was getting a bit warmer in the sunshine with a slight breeze blowing.  I continued to listen to Jesus even though I had already a lot to think about.  Jesus continued to speak about how we are to live holy lives.

Jesus mentions about giving to the needy.  When we give to others we are not to make a show of it, letting everyone know what we are doing.  Instead, we are to give in private.  I have heard people in the synagogues telling each other loudly what they gave to the poor.  It was as if they were fighting amongst themselves who gave the most.  Jesus actually called these people hypocrites.  Wow, that’s harsh, but the more I think about it, it’s true.  Hypocrites are ones who read scripts and puts on an act; they use a mask to cover their true motives.  I have heard this word in plays where the adults put on masks to entertain the little ones.

Jesus says the same thing about praying and fasting.  He said we are not to be praying loudly for everyone to hear or babbling on like those who pray to other gods.  We don’t have to pray long, repetitive prayers.  When we fast we are not to let everyone know we are doing so.  We are to comb our hair and dress as normal so other people can’t tell.  That’s a relief, I must tell you.  I don’t want others to know my prayers and if I am fasting.  For me, I find this a private time between me and God.

Jesus teaches us to pray: “Our Father in Heaven hallowed be your name.  Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Did you hear those words?  We can call Yahweh God our Abba Father!  I am so excited!  I always thought God was distant, but Jesus says we can say Abba as if he were right here right now.  Once again I am amazed and in awe.  The rest of the prayer reminded me of the many different prayers we prayed throughout the day.  We give thanks in the morning when we rise, we give thanks for every meal, we even pray whilst washing our hands and before we go to sleep.  Extra prayers are prayed on special holidays and Sabbaths.

Jesus told us we are to forgive others as God forgives us.  If we don’t we will not be forgiven.  In our prayers, we pray to forgive others their sins as God does for us.  So not only am I to love the gentleman next door to mother, I am to forgive him or I won’t be forgiven.  I am not sure how I can do this.  I do hope I can begin to love him as well.  Maybe loving him and forgiving him might let him see we Jews are not bad people after all.

Jesus speaks about money and possessions.  He said we are not to hold things dear here on earth.  My father told me we don’t take the things to the grave with us, only our flesh goes to the grave.  The things on earth will stay when we leave to go to heaven.  None of it goes with us.  So we shouldn’t worry about having more things.

Jesus says our treasures should be in Heaven.  Whatever our treasures are, the desires of our hearts will be those things as well.  He explains we cannot serve two masters- money and God.  We will hate one and love the other.  Which one will come first in our lives?

Yes, money can buy things, we can have all the luxuries in the world.  However, looking at the crowd around me, I don’t think the majority of us have a lot of money.  Some were fishermen, others were tentmakers, carpenters, homemakers, linen makers, etc.  The Pharisees and other religious leaders were on the outskirts of this crowd and they were only a few in number compared to the rest of us.  I think most of us would be more worried and concerned where the money was going to come from to help us make ends meet.

It was as if Jesus knew my thoughts because he said we should not worry about treasures and money and everyday life.  Life is more important than food and the body is more important than clothing. He explained about the birds not being able to plant or harvest seed.  God allows plants to grow and he takes care of and provides for the birds.  We are far more valuable to God than birds, so why do we worry?  Can worrying actually add a single moment to our lives?

Jesus has a point here.  Why do we worry about money and things?  Even the poorest among us are able to survive even if it is on crumbs.

Jesus said if we seek the kingdom of God above all else and live righteously, he will give us everything we need.  We should stop worrying about tomorrow and what will happen.  Today has enough troubles of its own.

For further study:

Matthew 6

Lent Series: The Sermon on the Mount (Part One)

Jesus had been healing people and teaching for days now.  I had a hard time trying to listen to everything he was saying as I couldn’t get to him through all the crowds.  I did, however, see people being healed, which was amazing!

One day Jesus went up on a mountainside near Capernaum and sat down to teach. I was so thrilled to be able to be a lot closer this time so I could not just listen to him, but I could see him at the same time.  He taught for hours.  There is so much to share so I will begin with his blessings upon people.

Jesus blesses the poor who realise their need for Him.  He said the kingdom of heaven is theirs.  Blessings are given to those who mourn for they will be comforted, not just the bereaved but those who are sorry and repent from their wrongdoings.  He blesses those who are humble and said they will inherit the earth.  Humbleness is not weakness although many will tell us so.  It is instead, controlled strength and self-discipline.

Jesus went on to bless those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and justice for they will be satisfied with food in abundance.  Blessings are upon those who are merciful for they will be shown mercy, those whose hearts are pure for they shall see God and those who work for peace, they will be called the children of God.

Jesus then gave blessings to those who are persecuted for doing right for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.  He even said when people mock, persecute, lie about and say all sort of things about us who follow him, we are to be happy and very glad about it!  He said there will be a great reward for us in heaven.

We were told to be salt and light.  I know salt is used to preserve meats and fish, my mother taught me this.  If we didn’t use salt, the meat and fish would rot and be useless.  Jesus told us that if we don’t stay salty we would be like rotten meat and be thrown out.  We use candles in the house for lights.  Our lamps would be holders that held candles.  Jesus explained we don’t hide our lamps under a bowl as it blocks out the light.  We are to shine our good deeds to others so they can see we love God the Father.

Jesus spoke about laws, anger, adultery, divorce, making and keeping vows and revenge.  I was surprised to see that people stayed to listen to Him with all these subjects being covered.  I enjoy listening to Jesus, he has a voice that doesn’t condemn when he speaks.  I think this makes it easier to listen and if I feel this way, the others around me must do too.

Jesus taught us that we are to love our enemies.  I remember in my earlier years having to learn the laws of the Lord. These laws were read from the scrolls of Leviticus.  Jesus mentions one verse in particular from Leviticus:

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbour as yourself.  I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18).

Throughout the generations, this verse has been taught to us as to “hate our enemies but love our neighbours” instead of “loving your neighbour as yourself.”  This became a Pharisaic law.   Jesus, however, stressed upon us that we are to love our enemies and even pray for those who persecute us!  If we do, he said we will be acting like true children of God.  He explains this truth by saying God gives sunlight and rain on both the evil and good and the unjust and just people.  I thought about this for a bit- it is true, the rain doesn’t stop in someone’s patch because they are evil nor does the sun.

He said everyone can love those who love us back.  Even corrupt tax collectors do the same.  If we are only kind to our friends, how are we different than anyone else?   We are to be perfect as God is perfect.

I have to let all this sink in.  I love being blessed by Jesus.  I don’t mind being the salt and light.  But loving my enemies is a bit difficult I think.  There is one gentleman who lives close to my mother who is always shouting insults at her because she tries to follow God’s laws.  He hurls accusations when she walks to the synagogue and laughs at her.  Jesus wants me to love and pray for him after all he does to my mother?

I know I am to be holy as God is holy.  We were taught this as young children.  From what I have already heard today, I have a long way to go before I am holy as God is.  For now, I am going to rest and think about the things I have shared with you so far.  Until tomorrow…

Notes:

*Blessed are- God blesses- this is an adjective meaning happy, supremely blessed, congratulations are in order.  This is a grace word that expresses the special joys and satisfaction granted the person who experiences salvation.

*The poor are those who recognise their spiritual poverty and putting themselves aside, they seek God’s grace.

*To be perfect means to be holy, set apart, sacred, clean, pure, separated unto God – “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel.  You must be holy because I, the LORD your God am holy” (Leviticus 19:2).

*To love others is not just having sentiment towards someone- it is a practical concern, blessing them, praying for them and wishing shalom for our friends and enemies alike.

For further study:

Matthew 5

Lent Series: Sabbath Controversies

The Sabbath is our holy day of rest. God told us to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. We usually go to the synagogues to listen to the Rabbi’s teach. Otherwise, we do nothing else but rest. We don’t even cook! Food is prepared the day before so we don’t have to.
 
As I have been following Jesus everywhere, this Sabbath day, I was walking in a grain field, trying to hide from Him and the disciples but close enough so I could watch and listen to them talking. The disciples began to get hungry so they began to pluck the heads of grain and eat them. Granted we have been walking for what seemed like ages and I was even hungry, not having anything to eat for quite a while. I figured, if the disciples did it, so could I, so I started to eat the heads of grain as well.
 
Then some Pharisees saw us. They were irate. They charged up to us complaining about what the disciples were doing saying they were breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath. First of all the grain had already been harvested, all that was left on the heads were the leftovers which were left for the poor to glean according to Levitical law. I thought, what was the big deal? According to the Pharisees, it was a massive deal.
 
Jesus responds to the Pharisees reminding them what David did when Abiathar was high priest. David and his companions were hungry so they went into the house of God and broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread the priest were only allowed to eat (see 1 Samuel 21). Jesus explained that even priests had to work on the Sabbath and He wanted the Pharisees to show mercy not offer sacrifices (Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8).
 
Jesus also said to the Pharisees “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of the people and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath”.
 
Jesus said it again, He is the Son of Man, He is Lord, even over the Sabbath. He is declaring He is equal with God! John the Baptist was right! I am unworthy to speak to Jesus or even follow Him. I have been waiting all my life to meet this Messiah, the Christ, the Lord and here He is speaking in front of me. There are no words to describe how I feel at this moment in time other than awe and amazement.
 
Jesus, the disciples, the Pharisees and I went into the synagogue on another Sabbath day. A man with a deformed hand was there. The Pharisees saw this as another opportunity to mock Jesus and His claims as the Lord of the Sabbath. They asked Jesus if the law permits a person to work on the Sabbath by healing.
 
I looked at Jesus wondering what His reaction would be. He looked sad like a father is with his child who doesn’t obey and pushes the limits. The father still loves his child but there is pain in his eyes when he sees his child go astray. Jesus had that same look in his eyes. Jesus responds to them by asking “If you had a sheep that fell into a well, wouldn’t you go rescue it? This man here is far more valuable than a sheep. The law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.”
 
Jesus asked the man to come to the front of the synagogue. He then healed the man. The Pharisees were wild with rage.
 
I felt awful. These men who were supposed to be examples to the rest of us were getting angry with the Messiah. What was wrong with these people? Can they not see how wonderful this man Jesus was? Jesus just healed this man. What love! What compassion! What tenacity to go over the heads of the religious elite! I couldn’t understand their opposition.
 
Jesus started talking with the others that were there. As I waited my turn to hopefully talk to Jesus, I heard the Pharisees plotting to kill him because he stood up to them about the laws of the Sabbath. I thought it was ironic they were complaining about working on the Sabbath but yet they didn’t mind getting together arguing how to get rid of Jesus. I do hope Jesus knows what they are planning to do and stays away from them because I’d like to get to know Him better. It’s too soon for something bad to happen to Him.
 
Notes:
*The Sabbath was ultra-protected by the Pharisees who followed the law to a ridiculous degree.
*Jesus and His disciples were not breaking any Sabbath laws – just the Pharisee’s interpretation of them.
• God intended the Sabbath to be spiritually and physically restful for us, not an impossible burden trying to meet narrow man-made rules.
• Jesus declared He is the Son of Man, the Lord of the Sabbath was stating equality with God- the Sabbath is the Lord’s Day established the seventh day of creation when God rested after He saw all He had created was good.
 
For further study:
Matthew 12:1-14; Mark 2:23-3:6; Luke 6:1-11

Lent Series: Four Become Fishers of Men

Jesus made it to Galilee.  During the two days that Jesus stayed in Samaria, I stayed in a tent nearby and had a rest.  I then walked to Galilee knowing Jesus was heading that way.  Remember, I like to listen in to what is going on so I can follow Him wherever He goes.

Jesus was walking alongside the shore of the Sea of Galilee preaching.  I and many others in a crowd pressed in to listen to Him.  We wanted to take in everything He was saying.

Jesus saw two empty boats at the water’s edge which some fishermen had left to go wash and mend their nets. He stepped into one of the boats.  Simon Peter was the owner of the boat.  Jesus asked him to push it out onto the water.  The other fishermen came back from washing their nets and joined Simon and Jesus in their boat as well as out on the water.  Jesus continued teaching the crowds.

Jesus finished teaching us and we saw Him and the boats go out deeper into the water.  I was really curious what was going on but I had to wait until the boats came back.  This is what I heard happened out there in the deep sea…

Jesus told Simon Peter to let down his nets to catch some fish.  Unfortunately, in recent days the fishermen have not been able to catch many fish which really affected their livelihood.  They depend on having fish to sell in the market so they can take care of their own families.  Simon mentioned this to Jesus and said they worked all night without catching a thing.  Simon agreed to go ahead and let the nets down again as Jesus said.

Simon must have been listening to Jesus whilst he was mending his nets.  He also must have believed there was something special about Him in order to allow Him to get into his boat and even to go out into the deep part of the sea and let down the nets even though there were no fish the night before.

A miracle occurred! This time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!  There was a shout for help from the partners in the other boat.  Soon both boats were so completely filled with fish that they were on the verge of sinking!

Simon Peter realised what happened.  He realised Jesus indeed is special.  He fell to his knees before Jesus and said to Him – “Oh, Lord, leave me- I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.”

Simon and the others were amazed at the number of fish in the boats.  Jesus replied to Simon- “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!”When they got back to the shore, Simon Peter, his brother Andrew, James and his brother John- the sons of Zebedee, left everything and followed Jesus.  They left their boats, nets, livelihoods and family behind and went with Jesus. Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John became really good friends with Jesus.

Jesus went off to pray and prayed to God all night.  He called together all the disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles.  A disciple is a student or follower of a teacher (a Jewish teacher is a Rabbi) or a doctrine.  An apostle is not just a disciple, they are messengers sent out to share the good news of Jesus. The twelve apostles who were specifically chosen by Jesus were Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon the Zealot, Judas (son of James) and Judas Iscariot.

I consider myself a disciple.  I follow Jesus everywhere and I look forward to hearing and watching what He will do next.  I want to know him more. I want to be like him, loving, compassionate, caring. But how can I? I can’t even get close enough to him to talk. If only he knew. If only he would listen. Oh, how I want to be free. Just maybe, my life will mean something as well and I can make a difference like Jesus’ apostles.

For further study:

Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11; 6:12-16

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Lent Series: The Woman at the Well

Jesus left the town of Judea to go to Galilee. Jews usually take the long way around to avoid Samaria as they do not get along with the Samaritans; in fact, many of the Jews hate them.
 
The journey was long, especially on foot. We mostly walked everywhere. It was a luxury to be able to ride a camel, horse or even a donkey.
 
Despite the in-fighting between the Jews and the Samaritans, Jesus walked through Samaria to the village of Sychar which is near the field that Jacob gave his son Joseph. If only you could see the face of the followers that went with Him… if looks could kill, Jesus would have been murdered.
 
Jesus was tired from the long walk. Because of His weariness, He sat down beside the well (Jacob’s well to be precise) at noontime. A Samaritan woman came to draw water and Jesus asked for a drink. First of all, this was odd to see a Samaritan draw water out in the open during noontime when the sun was hot and shining at its fullest. Most people go to draw water for their families and animals in the cool of the morning or late evening. No one else was around. Usually, when this happens it’s because they don’t want to be seen. There are only a few reasons why a woman doesn’t want to be seen by the other women. She could be a prostitute, have an illness that kept her way from other people, or anything else that broke Levitical law.
 
I was surprised to see this woman out in the heat of the day. She was equally surprised to see Jesus, a Jew, there and speaking to her. As I said before, Jews were well known for disliking the Samaritans and vice versa. She asked Jesus why He would even ask her for a drink.
 
Jesus said to her “If only you knew who I was and the gift God has for you, I would give you living water.”
 
The woman asked the same thing I was thinking- “How can you give me living water when the well is very deep and you have no extra rope? And do you really think you are greater than our ancestors were who gave us this well?”
 
Jesus answered her- “Anyone who drinks the water from the well will be thirsty again, but the water I can give you will quench your thirst. You will never be thirst again. It will become a fresh bubbling spring within you, giving eternal life.”
 
You mean I can have enough water, so I don’t have to be thirsty again, even in this heat? Wow, I want some of that. Apparently, the woman did as well. She asks for this water, so she never has to come back to the well again.
 
Somehow, I don’t think Jesus meant physical water. Since the day I first met Him, I have wanted to know more about Him and sitting on the outskirts listening in is just not enough. As much as I get thirsty in this heat, I am thirsty to know more about this man who is called the Son of God.
 
Jesus then tells the woman to go get her husband. The woman proceeds to tell Him she has no husband. Jesus already knew this! He told her she has had five husbands and the man she lives with now is not her husband! Now I see why this woman came out in the middle of the day when no one else did. I bet the women of that town gossiped about her a lot. The men there probably avoided her. If she has already had five husbands, she has commitment issues and living with another man, she must be lonely and desperate to have someone in her life. I actually felt sorry for her. I wondered if her parents were divorced or maybe she was a child from rape. Maybe she had a very difficult upbringing. I don’t’ know her whole background story, I only know what I just heard, and it broke my heart.
 
The woman was amazed that Jesus knew this and she then realised He was someone special. She then goes on to talk about worship and discussed the issue of where to worship as this was a part of the contention between the Jews and Samaritans. Jesus explained that it will no longer matter where she worships. True worshippers will worship God the Father in spirit and truth as God is Spirit.
 
Wheels were turning in my head. I remembered Jesus talking to Nicodemus about being born again and in order to do so we have to be born of the Spirit. In order to worship God in spirit and truth, we have to be born of the Spirit.
 
The woman said I know the Messiah is coming, the Christ and when He comes, He will explain everything.
 
Jesus tells her – “I AM the Messiah.”
 
The disciples showed up and were shocked to find Jesus talking to a woman and a Samaritan woman at that. None of them though had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her or why were you talking to her.”
 
The woman left her jar beside the well and ran back to the village telling every “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So, the people came streaming in from the village to see Him. Many of them believed in Jesus because of what the woman said. They begged Him to stay in the village, so Jesus agreed to stay for two more days. Many more people in the village heard the message and believed. They realised that Jesus was indeed the Saviour of the world.
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For further study:
John 4:1-20, 39-42

Lent Series: Jesus Meets with Nicodemus

I have been following Jesus and His disciples around for a few weeks now. During this time I have seen Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding and this was the talk of the town for days! People couldn’t believe the best wine was saved until the last part of the wedding as it usually comes out at the beginning. Then I saw Jesus heal people. I was totally mesmerised and amazed at how He was performing these miracles. I know John declared Him as the Son of God, but wow, I have never seen lame people walk before or blind men see. I am still trying to decide if this is what I believe about Jesus, is He really the Messiah or just another prophet people are following. There are so many questions in my head I need to figure out.
 
I sat down in the cool shade having a fish and some bread. Jesus was talking to His friends again. Apparently, He had spoken to Nicodemus the night before. Nicodemus was a well-respected leader in the Sanhedrin. No one messed with the guys in the Sanhedrin, they were well educated in the law and were the elite.
 
Jesus said that Nicodemus came to Him in the night asking some questions. Nicodemus candidly said to Jesus he knew that God was with Him.
 
Jesus then shares with us the rest of the conversation with Nicodemus. He tells Nicodemus that he needs to be born again in order to see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus asked the same question I probably would have asked- “Well, how can you be born again? We can’t go back into our mother’s wombs.”
 
Jesus explains to Nicodemus that yes, we are born of water, which by the way means human birth- we refer to this a lot when we talk about births, but we are to be born of the Spirit.
 
The Spirit? Remember the day of Jesus’ baptism when the Spirit of God descended upon Him? John said Jesus would baptise us with the Spirit. So, being born of the Spirit what does this mean?
 
Jesus explains the Spirit as wind. We know about wind, we know it blows wherever it chooses, but we cannot see it. He said the Spirit is like this: The Spirit moves, we can feel it, we can know it, but we cannot see it.
 
Okay, I get this, but still, how are we born of the Spirit? Apparently, Nicodemus didn’t get it either.
 
Jesus tries to explain further. He declares Himself as the Son of Man who has come from Heaven. I have heard Him called the Son of God, but not the Son of Man. Jesus then tells Nicodemus “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world but to save the world through Him” (John 3:16-17).
 
So, if we believe in Jesus as the Son of God, one who came to man from Heaven out of love, we will never perish? Jesus the Son is not here to judge us but to save us.
 
Wow, this is a lot to take in.
 
Jesus goes on to say that judgement comes to those who do not believe He is the Son of God or the Son of Man. Judgement is based on this: God’s light came into the world, but people loved darkness more than the light. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it because they are afraid their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see they are doing what God wants.
 
I can understand this- ever since I “met” Jesus at the River Jordan and have been following Him and listening to Him, I have been thinking a lot about my own life and my sins. It has made me feel very uncomfortable because I know I have made plenty of mistakes. Yet, I so much want to know this man Jesus. I want to understand what He is teaching so I can be His “friend.” I don’t want to sit on the outskirts eavesdropping, I want to get to know Him better.
 
I know I can’t see the Spirit, but I believe the Spirit is indeed in Jesus. I desire to be born of the Spirit. I desire to be born again. If Jesus really did come out of love and judgement and He indeed is the Son of God and the Son of Man to make a way for us to have eternal life then I want this.
 
I have got to make a way to talk to Jesus. Somehow, I must!
 
Notes:
*Interestingly Nicodemus came to Jesus at night-
This was because of his position in the Sanhedrin and most of the elite already did not like Jesus, therefore, to be seen with Jesus during the day would not have been a good thing.
*People who are of the light are busy accomplishing, engaging in and doing the business of God.
*When we pray for unbelievers, we need to pray that the veil of unbelief and darkness is removed. We also need to pray against pride keeping them back from knowing Jesus.
*In order to be genuinely saved, we must be born again- born of the Spirit, not just saying Jesus is Lord- the demons even know this- but really believing in our heart of hearts that Jesus is the Son of God, and desiring a relationship with Him
 
For Further Study: John 3:1- 21
John 3.3 (2)