God loves, Part I

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him. “

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:1-3 (NIV)

God has been speaking to me with such love and the words have been coming around and about John 3:16. This story is the set up for Jesus’ pronouncement of how much God loves.

Nicodemus, a ruler in the Jewish community, comes with questions. He comes at night. He comes to Jesus. He might be nervous. He says, “Jesus we (the learned rulers) have seen what you do.” A little flattery? Jesus does not respond in kind to that because those credentials mean nothing in God’s world. Jesus responds with what is important and what Nicodemus was really there to ask! Jesus tells Nicodemus that his best won’t get him eternal life. That is a shocking truth to a Jew. He has spent his life trying to learn what God expected of him and wants so much to be a ‘good’ Jew. Jesus tells him – that won’t get it!

Have you ever wanted a ‘do over’? A mulligan? For those who do not play golf, a mulligan is an opportunity to do a stroke over. If you tee off and send the ball careening off into the trees instead of straight down the fairway…you exercise your mulligan and hit another ball just like the first one never happened! Jesus tells Nicodemus that he can have a ‘mulligan’ on his life. He can be ‘born again’!

Nicodemus may have left Jesus that night still questioning. Sometimes we just don’t “get it” on Jesus’ first illustration as He teaches us God’s truths. That’s when we keep listening and watching. Keep questioning. Nicodemus may have walked away that night with questions in his mind but later (John 19:39) he was still there, watching and listening. And maybe, just maybe, as he went about Jesus’ burial ritual, he had a light of hope in his heart. He was going to continue to watch…And then he heard the news. Jesus’ tomb where he, Nicodemus, had seen Jesus laid – was EMPTY! Who would have thought that Jesus would give another illustration of His “born again” principle – Himself – in resurrection power – Yes! You can be born again!

God loved us and sent His Son so that we would not perish but have eternal life! Choose Jesus – be born again – and live eternally with God. Even if you “get it” – keep watching. Keep listening. Keep reading. Jesus isn’t done with His teaching.

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