Ever sit in a court room waiting for the jury to issue its verdict?
Ever wait for the gavel drop of the judge to make it official?
Chapter 3 is packed full of wonderful truth, glorious light, the Pure Light that has come into the world to save sinners! Alleluia! But we also see the harsh reality that not all people will “receive” Jesus (1:11-12) and thus be saved. Like a rebellious kid, they won’t do what their Father desires of them; some just won’t come into the light. They won’t accept the verdict of forgiveness and thus remain in their darkness of sin. They like their sin. They LOVE their sin and hold on to it more dearly than the One who has come to rescue them.
Nicodemus represents those who don’t believe, as he comes “in the darkness of night.” Is he like a moth being drawn to the Light? Did John only mean the time of day? Could this be another multi-meaning phrase that shows Nicodemus is living in unbelief (not in the light)? So many people today are living in this darkness of unbelief even though they have great jobs, nice houses, and a clean car. But there is so much more to this life than what we see. We are reminded of the verdict of wrath, God’s wrath, for those who don’t believe. The verdict for them is not something to be desired. But God doesn’t leave us without hope.
The Purpose of Jesus’ life is made very clear. You could say chapter 3 shines a light on it so there is no mistake about God’s action on our behalf. The Light has come, “not to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.” (v.17) God offers the most inclusive (not exclusive) plan of salvation possible while remaining a just God. Yes, He punishes those who reject His Son; but, to those who do receive Him, who do believe…He brings into the Light of Love, eternal life with Him.
There are many great topics in John 3, like the truth of being born again of water and the Spirit as well as the connection of Jesus’ crucifixion to the days of Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness with venomous snakes (Numbers 21).
Furthermore, how fitting for John the disciple (author) to reveal John the Baptist’s development of being the forerunner for Jesus, but then realizing his place was to now, “decrease so that He may increase.” (v.30) The Purpose of Jesus if summed up once again at the end of chapter 3 as we’re reminded of our place before a holy, almighty God who has pardoned us by placing the verdict of punishment on His Son in our stead.
PRAYER: Father in heaven, I’m humbled that You’ve taken away my sins and by looking to Christ, believing in Your Promise, I am saved and am inheriting eternal even as I type these words. Help me decrease so that Jesus may increase in my life. Amen.