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The Gospel According to Jesus (John 3:13-21)

“No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:13-21).

I have meditated on and asked God about these verses for two weeks now and I tell you what, these words of Jesus may well be the most profound in all of scripture, we find contained here in the words of Jesus, His gospel. All throughout the four accounts of the life of Jesus Christ and His ministry on earth among men, we find Him calling Himself the Son of Man. Verse thirteen transcends time and space, heaven exist outside of time and space. Physical earth exists on a plane of time, both of which are a creation from God. Man exists in a physical world, God is Spirit, man cannot leave his physical existence and perceive God, so what had to happen? God had to come to us. John 1:14 says “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. Jesus said He (the Son of Man), came down from heaven and is in heaven. How can Jesus be both in heaven and on earth as a man at the same time? The answer many do not want to accept. Many would like to have Jesus as a good man, and as a teacher, but will not accept Him as God. The only reason Jesus can be in heaven and in the flesh at the same time is because He is in fact God. This is no typo, Jesus was telling Nicodemus and all that would read this conversation thereafter, that He was God who came down from heaven. And then in verses 14-20, says that to be saved you must except that and believe that. Believe that Jesus is God, that He is God the Son, the only begotten Son of God. People try to change begotten to say it means something else, but only begotten means only begotten and nothing else. There is no other, Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, He is the very person of God in a man.

Jesus says “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” This is kind of a neat story. In numbers chapter 21, the Israelites where sinning and complaining to Moses, so God sent serpents (snakes) among them that bit them and caused many to die. The people came to Moses repentant saying that they had sinned against God, asking Moses to pray to the Lord on their behalf for mercy. God told Moses to make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who was bitten when he looks at the serpent on the pole would live. What is important about this story is one word, faith. The people had to believe by faith that looking at this serpent on the pole would save them and when they did, God healed them. We are talking about 1 million people spread out, in order to look at the serpent on the pole you had to come to the pole because you wouldn’t have been able to see it from just anywhere in the camp, you would have had to travel through the snakes to get to the pole and get bit in the process. So in order to come to the pole you had to have complete faith that looking at the serpent on the pole would save you and then God would heal you. It is the same way with the believer, we have to endure the fiery trials of this life with all of its temptations, getting bit by the serpent many times in the process, but you come by faith to Jesus on the cross, because you have faith that this will save you and God saves you.

The words of John 3:16-18 are just incredible, these words just magnify the love of God and how wonderful it is, and that love is available to all peoples, no matter who they are. Many have tried in their Religiosity to be racist, saying God came to save certain people groups but not others, salvation is for all peoples, and no one is excluded. The Jewish people were under the impression that when the Messiah came He would destroy all other peoples and save the Jews. But Jesus says here, you’ve got that all wrong “for God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him it might be saved” God sent Jesus to save all people no matter who they are, all people. No matter what race or religious back ground you come from, if you will believe by faith that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God who died on the cross for your sins, you are forgiven of your sins and saved by God. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” ~John 3:16. That means it begins now. If you believe by faith that Jesus paid the price for your sins on the cross, you have everlasting life, beginning now. Yes one day this body of mine will stop functioning, it will stop breathing, but I will not perish, I will be transformed in an instance in the image of God and be with God worshiping Him in His likeness, righteous. One of the best Psalms I’ve recently read speaks of this. “As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness” ~Psalm 17:15. What about the unbeliever? Death awaits him, death of his soul (the second death ~Revelations 21:8) and eternal separation from God. In verses 19-21 Jesus explains why a man won’t come to Him and the reason is that he loves his sin. He hates the light, he hates the savior, he hates Jesus because he loves his sin, because if he were to come to the light (come to Jesus) while in his sin he would be exposed as a sinner and have to give up his sin. Well if he loves his sin, he wouldn’t want to have to give it up, so he fights for it. But the man who hates His sin comes to the light (comes to Jesus), and doesn’t care that he is exposed as a sinner, because he loves the light (loves Jesus), more than his sin, and wants to be rid of his sin, his desire is to glorify God, to glorify the Son of God (Jesus Christ).

God Bless,
Mike Peek

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