In this Chapter:
1-21: Jesus Talks With Nicodemus
22-36: John the Baptist Exalts Jesus
Jesus wants our REALationship NOT our religion:
This chapter starts off with a dude named Nicodemus asking Jesus a couple of questions. Nicodemus was a super-pro religious leader, but he wanted to talk with Jesus because he noticed something different about Him. Nicodemus said that all the religious leaders knew that Jesus had been sent by God, because no other person would be able to do all of the insane miracles that Jesus is doing. It was clear as day. People were blown away by the things He did and said.
One of the raddest things about Jesus was that He revolutionized how people thought of religion, because he constantly ran with the theme that being “religious” isn’t the same thing as being in a “relationship” with God. Nicodemus was the ultimate religious dude, but he had no clue what it meant to be in a right relationship with God.
Whenever someone had a run-in with Jesus, Jesus always expressed that He was more concerned with the condition of their heart rather than how well they stuck to some religious code. Jesus taught that God desires a true relationship and wants to be known on a personal level. He is not into you following rules just for the sake of following rules. He created YOU and wants YOU to KNOW HIM.
This conversation is all about what it means to be “born again”. Like Nicodemus, you may wonder, “What in the world does it mean to be born again?” Well, Jesus explains. Nicodemus was thinking about physical birth while Jesus was talking about something that happens spiritually. Jesus didn’t suggest that a big dude could be birthed by his mom again. That’d just be real weird.
The new birth that Jesus was talking about was a birth into the family of God. The Bible teaches that when we are born physically, we are born separated from God because of our sin and disobedience. We all have a conscience affirming that we recognize our sin. This sin needs to be dealt with if we are to be brought into true life in the family of God.
Jesus teaches Nicodemus that this spiritual birth leads to eternal life. Jesus says that God, because He loves us, gave His sinless Son (Jesus refers to Himself in the third person) to be the sacrifice, the payment, for our sins. The judgment for the sins of the entire world is placed on God’s Son. Jesus both prophesies here about His own death and resurrection as well as explaining that He will take the punishment for the world’s sin upon Himself. What a crazy thing to claim about yourself before it happens!
Jesus also says that for anyone who believes that He is the Son of God and that He was the sacrifice for their own sins, that person would have eternal life. Over 700 years before Jesus, a dude named Isaiah prophesied the coming Savior would be “pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. The punishment that brings us peace is upon Him.”
Jesus did not come into the world to condemn us. He came to offer us forgiveness! If we place our faith in Jesus as our Savior, our sins are forgiven. We will not be judged for what we have done in the past or what we will do in the future. That judgment was placed on Him already. Jesus took our punishment when He died on the cross.
If we decide that we don’t need Jesus, then we are on our own and we will have to answer for our sins. The Bible says the price we pay is eternal punishment in hell; a serious thing to consider!
This is a decision that has to be made personally. Every person must decide whether or not they are going to trust in Jesus as their Savior. Four times in this chapter Jesus says that the person who believes WILL have eternal life. The choice is easy, but it’s yours to make.