Jesus: Loving Savior

Jesus_ Loving Savior

Jesus: Loving Savior

December 5, 2019

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”- Lao Tzu

 

Even though I did not grow up in the church, I often heard Jesus referred to as the Savior of the World. The title meant very little to me then. But as I continued to read through the gospel of John, a man named Nicodemus caught my attention. His path to faith helped me see Jesus in a new light.

Like me, Nicodemus knew about Jesus, but he didn’t know Jesus. Although the Bible only mentions Nicodemus three times, each recorded event reveals a man who longed to know Jesus.

Interestingly, the Bible tells us Nicodemus came to see the Lord at night. As a member of the Jewish Ruling Council, it may not have been politically correct for him to learn from Jesus. Out of his first meeting with Him comes one of the most quoted verses in the Bible:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17 NIV)

The phrase, “For God so loved the world”, never ceases to amaze me. Years ago, as part of a group Bible study, my friends and I each described the world in one word. Our word choices shared a common theme: selfish, lost, uncaring, violent, evil, flawed, divided, unloving

I don’t believe views of our world has changed since then. In fact, a poll taken in 2018 by Our World In Data reveals only 6% of Americans believe the world is getting better. To be honest, we only have to tune into the news to find evidence of today’s troubles.

Yet God loved this selfish, uncaring, unloving, evil and flawed world so much, He sent His son to save it. 

Contrary to what I believed, Jesus did not come to condemn the world. Our sinful choices already did that. But He did need to come and save it.

This conversation gave Nicodemus his first glimpse of the saving love of Jesus. This love must have taken root and grown. During the Festival of theTabernacles, Nicodemus defended Jesus to the religious leaders:

Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” (John 7:50-51 NIV)

Although he experienced pushback from the leaders, Nicodemus continued to grow in his faith. Our last glimpse of him is at the foot of the cross:

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (John 19:38-42 NIV)

Nicodemus, no longer a secret disciple, personally attended to His burial. Having first received love from Jesus, he now fearlessly demonstrated his love for Jesus. 

Like Nicodemus, I came to faith because of the love Jesus has for me. Following Him requires courage, because Jesus often leads me away from my comfort zone. Nicodemus and I both learned the following truth:

Sacrificial love from Jesus leads to courageous love for Him.

As I continue down the road, I pray my love for Jesus continues to grow. Wherever you are in your journey, I pray the same for you.

Jesus: Loving Savior

December 5, 2019

Jesus_ Loving Savior

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”- Lao Tzu

 

Even though I did not grow up in the church, I often heard Jesus referred to as the Savior of the World. The title meant very little to me then. But as I continued to read through the gospel of John, a man named Nicodemus caught my attention. His path to faith helped me see Jesus in a new light.

Like me, Nicodemus knew about Jesus, but he didn’t know Jesus. Although the Bible only mentions Nicodemus three times, each recorded event reveals a man who longed to know Jesus.

Interestingly, the Bible tells us Nicodemus came to see the Lord at night. As a member of the Jewish Ruling Council, it may not have been politically correct for him to learn from Jesus. Out of his first meeting with Him comes one of the most quoted verses in the Bible:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17 NIV)

The phrase, “For God so loved the world”, never ceases to amaze me. Years ago, as part of a group Bible study, my friends and I each described the world in one word. Our word choices shared a common theme: selfish, lost, uncaring, violent, evil, flawed, divided, unloving

I don’t believe views of our world has changed since then. In fact, a poll taken in 2018 by Our World In Data reveals only 6% of Americans believe the world is getting better. To be honest, we only have to tune into the news to find evidence of today’s troubles.

Yet God loved this selfish, uncaring, unloving, evil and flawed world so much, He sent His son to save it. 

Contrary to what I believed, Jesus did not come to condemn the world. Our sinful choices already did that. But He did need to come and save it.

This conversation gave Nicodemus his first glimpse of the saving love of Jesus. This love must have taken root and grown. During the Festival of theTabernacles, Nicodemus defended Jesus to the religious leaders:

Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” (John 7:50-51 NIV)

Although he experienced pushback from the leaders, Nicodemus continued to grow in his faith. Our last glimpse of him is at the foot of the cross:

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (John 19:38-42 NIV)

Nicodemus, no longer a secret disciple, personally attended to His burial. Having first received love from Jesus, he now fearlessly demonstrated his love for Jesus. 

Like Nicodemus, I came to faith because of the love Jesus has for me. Following Him requires courage, because Jesus often leads me away from my comfort zone. Nicodemus and I both learned the following truth:

Sacrificial love from Jesus leads to courageous love for Him.

As I continue down the road, I pray my love for Jesus continues to grow. Wherever you are in your journey, I pray the same for you.

2 Comments

  1. Charla on December 6, 2019 at 6:46 PM

    Oh, Nicodemus. One of the most relatable people in God’s Word so far as I am concerned. One thing I appreciate about his story is – as you pointed out – his actions. We never read where Nicodemus is quoted as saying he chose to be born again, but his actions still speak volumes. He aligned himself to Christ, which truly took courage for a person in his position. Beautiful reminder of the love of our Lord 💕.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on December 8, 2019 at 4:12 PM

      I agree, Charla. His actions show a growing faith and courage. Thank you as always for your thoughtful comment!

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