Saturday, November 19 2011
What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?
Nicodemus was a Pharisee (see also The Origin Of The Essenes, Sadducees And Pharisees) and a member of the Sanhedrin at the time of the coming of the Messiah. Nicodemus was however among those who not only did not oppose the Christ, but became an active believer in Him. It was to Nicodemus that two of the most well-known (but least understood) teachings of Jesus Christ were given - being "born again" and the famous "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" of John 3:16 - which occurred during the time that Messiah was in Jerusalem for Passover.
Nicodemus attempted to stop the conspiracy against the Christ when it first began.
"7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
The above-quoted statement by the Pharisees that "for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet" shows that some of them did not themselves know the Scriptures. Numerous prophecies describe the Prophet-Messiah coming out of Galilee, including Isaiah 9:1-2 ("9:1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined"), as quoted in Matthew 4:13-17 KJV (see also The Prophet Of Galilee):
"4:13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
After the Messiah was Crucified by the Roman military (see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire), Nicodemus, along with Joseph of Arimathaea, placed the body of the Son of God in the Tomb (see Why Observe The True Sabbath? to understand what day of the week it actually was that Christ was crucified, and then resurrected exactly three days and three nights later).
"19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews [i.e. see Annas And Caiaphas], besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. 19:39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 19:40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 19:41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. 19:42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand." (John 19:38-42 KJV)
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life"
Millions of people are familiar with the terms "born again" and "John 3:16," but relatively few truly understand what the Messiah was saying because most have never actually read the setting, or the context, of the teachings. It occurred at the time of Passover; the Christ had just-then expelled the money-changers from the Temple (see Who Has A Spirit Of Confrontation?), and made a statement that was later used against Him at His "trial" i.e. "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
"2:13 And the Jews' passover was at hand [see The First Christian Church and The Firstborn Of Passover], and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 2:14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 2:15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
Then, after all of that, Nicodemus came to Jesus, privately.
"3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." (John 3:1-2 KJV)
The Son of God first replied with the "born again" teaching that spoke of the future resurrection / change to actual spirit life in the Kingdom of God (see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin for the first resurrection and The Eighth Day: What Does It Mean? for the second resurrection).
"3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
It was then, in answer to Nicodemus' question about being "born again" that the Messiah stated the famous John 3:16 verse that speaks of salvation for the truly repentant (see the Fact Finder question below). Consider very carefully the verses immediately following John 3:16 that describe how the unrepentant are not going to be saved, but are going to be condemned.
"3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?" (John 3:9 KJV)
"3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?], but have eternal life.
Fact Finder: (a) Who does Jesus love? (b) Where are those who do nothing more than "believe on Jesus' Name" going to end up?
This Day In History, November 19
1493: Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Rico (it wasn't a "discovery" for the people who were already there) during his second voyage to the New World.
1521: Milan was invaded by papal armies under Colona, beginning the war between the Hapsburg and Valois dynasties.
1600: Charles I, king of Scotland and England, was born. His authoritarian rule led to civil war and his eventual execution.
1620: The Pilgrims on the Mayflower sighted land on the east coast of North America.
1703: The "man in the iron mask," a prisoner in the Bastille prison in Paris, died. His true identity is unknown; he was the subject of literary works by Francois Voltaire and Alexandre Dumas.
1809: During the Peninsular War, 30,000 French defeated 50,000 Spanish at the Battle of Ocana.
1858: British Columbia became a military colony of Britain. It had been administered by the Hudson's Bay Company (the company that Britain made contract with to develop trade routes and trading posts through much of Canada), but thousands of U.S. gold miners flowing across the border into the territory refused to heed to the company's established authority (mostly by shooting at company officers). To prevent the lawless horde from taking over the territory and its people, it was temporarily made a military colony of Britain, whereby law and order was restored.
1866: As requested by the people who lived there, Vancouver Island (named after British Captain George Vancouver, an officer in the British navy who explored much of the west coast of North America), which had been a separate British colony, was included in the territory of British Columbia.
1897: The start of the Great City Fire of London.
1911: The first Marconi wireless transmission from Italy was received in New York.
1941: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the Australian warship Sydney engaged the German raider Kormoran in a fierce naval battle in the Indian Ocean, 300 miles west of Australia. After the battle the Sydney sailed off and was never seen again, with 645 presumed dead.
1942: During the Second World War (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion), Russian forces began a counter-offensive against the invading German army at Stalingrad.
1954: The U.S. and Canada began the construction of a radar warning system across northern Canada to give warning of approaching Russian nuclear bombers (Canada has the U.S. on its southern border and Russia on its northern border).
1977: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat departed for his peace visit to Israel. As his Presidential aircraft entered Israeli airspace, Israeli fighter jets escorted it to Ben-Gurion Airport. 10,000 police were on alert upon his landing.