Jesus related to Nicodemus in terms he couldn’t understand and in some that only Nick could understand.
8:17 I love those who love me [wisdom], and those who seek me find me.
…Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24
As we continue our look at memorization, knowledge (knowing the passage), and proof texting (bending Scripture to say what we want it to say), we now turn our attention to context. “Text without context is pretext for proof text.” In other words, we need to stay true to the central idea of the text, or, the CIT. Back to John 3:16,
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. NLV
The setting for this verse is the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus. Jesus makes two statements that are right up Nick’s alley in the way of Scripture. One is His reference to Daniel 7:13-14 and Himself. Let’s look at the passages side-by-side:
13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. John 3:13
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14
Jesus was obviously speaking of Himself and was equating Himself with God, “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things” (John 3:12)? Then Jesus identifies Himself with Moses by connecting the snake on the pole with Himself; in the same way that people who looked to the snake on the pole were saved (see Numbers 21:4-9), so is anyone who looks to Jesus for salvation, and He gives them eternal life. WE know that Jesus was foretelling how He would die on a cross. It is at this point that John shares with us how much God loves us and what Jesus’ plan was to save the world: God would give His Son, and the Son would give Himself. That’s a lot of love, folks!
Tomorrow, we will look at what is on the other side of this famous verse.
Abba, as we worship today, may we connect to You in Spirit. May we connect with our fellow believers through music, teaching, and haverim (the conveyance of the fellowship, partnership and mutual respect between friends). May we connect with folks who are seeking You, Abba. Everyone needs to meet Jesus. How can we help? Amen.