Image is from the network Nick@Nite
John 3: 1-17 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God." Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above." Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, "You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? "Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Nick at Nite is a television channel devoted to children. It was the favorite of our children as they were growing up and they were exposed to some of the "old" stuff that Nellie and I used to watch; Donna Reed, Dobie Gillis, and many others. I just checked and the channel still exists, though we've not seen that channel on our tv in a long time. I remember the first time a preacher preached on this passage and he called it "Nick at Night," referring to the person and the setting this passage contains. A devout man (Pharisee), who also served on the Sanhedrin, comes to see Jesus at night out of fear. He feared an open, meeting in the middle of the day would expose him to his colleagues and that might not fare well for him. Something was nagging Nicodemus, for it is evident in his opening statement to Jesus: You have come from God; no one could do what you do if they were not from God.
The exchange between the two yields some important truths about our faith: One must be born again (from above, or anew), meaning that keeping an earthly attitude and not letting God transform our lives and thinking will not allow us to understand the heavenly things. Nick didn't get this right away; but Jesus explained it to him. Second, Jesus said who He truly was and where He was from. He also reveals that as Moses brought life to those perishing in the desert by lifting up a serpent, so would Jesus bring life to the perishing by our looking up to Him on a cross. Then, the heavy duty truth; the verse that is perhaps quoted more often from the New Testament: John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life." There is is. God's declaration of love as expressed by His only begotten Son. God loves the world. That means, all people, all creatures, all of creation. God does not want any to perish, and so, God offers eternal life. The closing verse of this passage; "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that there world might be saved through Him."
Salvation is ours. Salvation is everyone's who chooses to believe and become what God intended. It is our job to share about salvation with any who will listen. God desires us to be saved away from sin and into the fullness of life, and ultimately that salvation will lead us to eternal life.
PRAYER: Loving God, use me to share what Jesus shared with Nick, but let me hear it and share at all hours of the day. In Christ Jesus I pray, amen.
Have a great and blessed day in the Lord.