For the Pharisees, Jesus was considered at best an annoyance and at worst a false prophet. So, for one of the leaders, Nicodemus to seek Jesus out and talk to Him, that was a big deal. Jesus was not impressed. Jesus was extremely disappointed in the religious leaders. They had no concept, really, of who the God that they served really was. They taught as though they served a rigid, uncaring, and distant God. One who was waiting with a stick to smack anyone that walked out of line.
Jesus shot right past that to the truth. He taught this very religious man that salvation had nothing to do with the physical acts of serving God. He told Nick–You have to be reborn. One needs a new spiritual life to follow God. That truth was so foreign to a religious leader that it set Nicodemus on his head.
Jesus simply laid it out. Our sin has made us like the Israelites in the desert. When they had moved so far away from God,God sent snakes to take them out. Then, at God’s direction, Aaron fashioned a snake and placed it on a pole. The pole was raised up so that anyone that would look and believe would be saved.
Jesus told this leader; God has sent His son to be the one lifted up. Jesus would be the salvation for anyone that would believe. God was not the distant and exacting task master looking for ways to exclude His chosen. Instead, God so loved us that He sent His only Son to be the redeeming sacrifice for our sin. God’s acts were the acts of a loving Father hoping to redeem what sin had destroyed.
Nicodemus left that night armed with the truth; Jesus laid it out. Funny thing is that the truth of John 3:16 is shared more than about any verse in the Bible. We have all seen the sign at events. Most children learn that verse as one of the staples of Sunday school. Even now, we need to cling to the truth that God loved us so much that He sent His only Son! This loving Father did that so that those who would believe would not perish but have eternal life.
God Bless you
1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still, you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things, and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[e] 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[f] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[g]
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.