John 3: 9-15
Intro: Few things cast a darker shadow over the glory of God than
the grumbling, the complaining of His people.
• When we complain it sounds as if we are accusing God of being unfaithful or unable; it sounds like He has somehow disappointed us.
• To grumble is the opposite of our created purpose: To glorify His Great Name.
• The People of God were grumbling in the wilderness.
The people were weary and impatient. They complained against God and criticized Moses.
“You brought us up from Egypt to die… No food and we hate this food” (grumbling need not be rational)
• The LORD sent poisonous snakes to the camp, “burners” and the people cried out, confessed, asked Moses to intercede. LORD answered prayer
• Bronze Burner on a pole… look intently and LIVE.
t/s – The mind of Jesus was saturated with the Word of God.
This morning – Ezekiel’s promise came seeping in…
Tonight – a clear reference to this Numbers 21 story.
Read John 3: 9-15 (comment on first few, then focus on 14-15)
Vs. 11 – Why the plural pronouns, “We.”??
• Jesus is poking fun at Nicodemus’s high opinion of himself while rejecting his low view of Jesus. (vs. 2)
• “WE know a thing or two, also!”
• Attacking Nic’s prideful minimizing of Jesus’ true nature!
Core Issue is not understanding, but rejecting Who Jesus Is.
Vs. 12 - The New Birth is just the beginning, the Gospel Basics.
Vs. 13 – NASB best translation… Jewish teachers claimed to have ascended into heaven in order to learn deep truth…
Jesus, “I am from heaven!” == Divinity and Pre-existence
Vs. 14 – 15 offer a Treasure of Truth… notice Three.
Another Powerful Picture of the Saving Work of Jesus.
Exp – The New Life we find in Christ is like…
a) Washed clean with pure water… start fresh.
b) Transformed from inside out…. New Heart of Obedience
c) Healed from a Deadly Poison… Snake Bit!
Filthy; Dead; Diseased….
Ill – Key to Recovery… “I am an addict.”
App – The Good News of Redemption assaults our pride.
The Beautiful Promise of Eternal Life in Jesus.
Exp – Vs. 15 is the first occurrence of “Eternal Life” in John.
John will use this combination of word 17 times in Gospel.
• See vs. 16 for identical phrase
“Eternal” = of the Age to Come… A new Kind of Life;
Kingdom Life… starts now and lasts forever.
“Life” is the key word in the Numbers 21 story…Look…Life!
t/s – Much more next Sunday…
The Central Irony of the Gospel of John
Exp – “Irony” = a word expresses a meaning that is the opposite of
What you expect; or, a story ending contrary to expectation.
“Lifted Up” – Four times in John 8:28; 12:32, 34
a) Literal, Physical meaning… Crucifixion. (shame)
b) Theological meaning… Exaltation
What was expected to be His humiliation; is actually His Exaltation --- Jesus Lifted Up!
App – Crucifixion is His Exaltation; In the Darkness of Golgotha
His light shines brightest; His Shame is Glory; His weakness is the Power; Despised and Rejected…We adore and Embrace.
Lifted Up… We do not run away in revulsion, Drawn to Him!
Halleluyah! Inv. – Let Praise His Name Together.