John 3

Today’s reading is John chapter 3.
Open your Bible or journal to mark some observations.
+ Notice this chapter includes two conversations:
Jesus talking to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews and John explaining true purification.
+ Compare Jesus’ words in 3:16 with John’s words in 3:36.
+ Notice/mark everything John states about Jesus.
Jesus had such an intriguing presence. Many people were trying to figure out Jesus as if he was a jigsaw puzzle. How did he do this miracle? When he said this, what did he really mean? Here in John 3, we see a Pharisee approach Jesus in the dark of night because he’s intrigued, and because his fellow religious leaders would ostracize him if they knew he wanted to have an honest conversation with Jesus. This man, Nicodemus, figures out part of the puzzle by admitting that Jesus is from God. Jesus quickly pulls the wool over his eyes by talking about being born again. The man is confused – how can any grown man be physically born again? It’s just not going to work. Jesus uses this opportunity to explain the gospel, and it culminates in John 3:16. Jesus was letting Nicodemus know that he wasn’t just from God, he was God – the Son of God.
This incredible truth wasn’t just something Jesus was sharing. Others were understanding the message! Specifically, John the Baptist gets it, and as people start to argue about why Jesus is baptizing people, John helps guide them to the same truth Jesus was leading Nicodemus to understand. We all know John 3:16, but do we know about John 3:36? It is the same message. Jesus is the Son of God. He is God. Believe in him.
This belief is deeper than knowledge. It’s not just about grasping the idea of Jesus as God in our heads. This belief is rooted in our hearts. When you hear about the gospel – when you hear about Jesus providing a way for you and me to be a part of God’s kingdom, what’s your response? When you consider the suffering, pain, and eventual death that Jesus endured for us, what’s your reaction? When you think about the victory over death and eternal hope that is ours through Jesus, does this excite your spirit? If we find ourselves unmoved by these truths, we may need to do a heart check.
This testimony is not just for us to know in our heads, but it is one that should stir us up deep within. May the gospel of Jesus Christ move us the way that it should. Lord, help remove the callouses that so easily prohibit our hearts from being renewed by the gospel. Use your Spirit to awaken us to this amazing story. May it never grow old.
Just for today-

            + Pray again today and ask God to increase in your life.
            + Thank God that we can live in his light this Christmas season.
Garrett Crown | Student Ministries Associate

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