Jesus taught using many parables or other analogies to get His point across. In this study series we will look at some of them. The first is a discussion with Nicodemus one night where Jesus teaches Him about true salvation, not through a parable, but He uses several analogies. This may be one of the most important and most well known scripture in the Bible.
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Obviously, one cannot go back into a mother’s womb. But a person can have a new life. Before I met Jesus, I had no hope. Sure, I enjoyed some things in life, but there was something missing. And I felt that in my heart. I was a pot head, a stoner, and my life surrounded around partying. But God never gave up on me and when Jesus came into my life He gave me new hope. He changed my heart and filled it with joy. Now, when I go through tough times, I know that He is there to lead me through the storm or calm it, and He will fight my battles. When I am tempted He gives me strength. When I fall He lifts me up and forgives me. When I turned toward Jesus and decided to follow Him, I was given a new life. I was born again.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
When we turn to Christ, we are born again. We are a new creation. We have new life. We have eternal life. Jesus came to this world to reconcile us to God. He paid for our sins. He gives us new life. He gives us hope.
1 Peter 1:20-23
He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever
Jesus Christ was there before creation itself. The world was created through Him. The Father sent Him to this earth to save us and He provided the Spirit to give us faith, to show us our sin and to guide us to turn from it. He leads us to be closer to God.
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Worship should come from the heart. As we believe in Jesus Christ, the true Son of God, we worship in spirit. As the Spirit works in our lives we become closer to Him. Salvation is not through anything we do, no rituals, no good deeds, but turning to Jesus Christ and trusting in Him to save us from our sins. That was God’s plan all along. That Christ would be crucified; He would pay the debt of our sins. Through Him, we are justified and declared righteous.
Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Jesus was telling Nicodemus He came down from heaven, He is the Son of God. He uses the analogy of the bronze serpent to explain that He would be crucified and He will rise and ascend to heaven. Through His death and resurrection, we can have life and be born again by believing in Him.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
And it happened just as He said it would. And through His love and sacrifice, we can be saved and have eternal life. The most well known verse in all of scripture may be the most important. Jesus took the sins of the world and paid for all of them by being crucified on the cross and rising again on the third day, and sits on the right hand of God the Father. And if you believe, you will be saved. He died once for all. Put your trust in Him.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.