JOHN 4:27-42

MAY 14, 2017

JESUS AND THE WOMAN OF SAMARIA (PART II)

INTRODUCTION:

1. As Jesus left Judea to return again to Galilee, He was constrained by a certain necessity to go through Samaria. (Verses 3, 4)
2. Though the most direct route was through Samaria, the necessity that Jesus was under was not about convenience. His Divine mission was ever guided according to the will of His Father who sent Him. In this case, Divine Providence had arranged for a meeting with a certain woman of Samaria.
3. The meeting between Jesus and this woman would take place at Jacob’s well.
a) It would be a private meeting, for Jesus’ disciples were gone away into the city to buy food. (Verse 8)
b) Jesus came and sat on the rim of the well weary and thirsty from His journey. (Verse 6)
c) The woman came to the well at noon to draw water. (Verse 7)
4. Nothing about this meeting was mere happenstance. All was providentially arranged so that Jesus would use for His point of approach the commonest of all things – the water of this well. (Verses 7-10)
5. By a bold comparison Jesus awakened in her mind the possibility of a Divine gift that could quench the inner thirst of the soul. (Verses 13-15)
6. The woman came to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah, and did experience by faith that soul-satisfying living water that He freely gives to all thirsty souls who will ask of Him. (Verses 25, 26)
7. As this meeting occurred while Jesus’ disciples were gone into the city to buy food, we shall now see what happened upon their return.

I. THE EXCHANGE THAT TOOK PLACE BETWEEN JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES WHEN THEY RETURNED. (VERSES 27-38)

A. JOHN FIRST DESCRIBES WHAT THE DISCIPLES SAW UPON THEIR RETURN, AND THE EFFECT THAT IT HAD ON THEM. (VERSES 27-30)
1. They were surprised that Jesus talked with the woman.
a) Their surprise was most likely because of the common Jewish prejudice against the Samaritans.
b) They did not, however, make any inquiry as to either why He spoke with her, or what He spoke to her.
2. Upon their return, the Samaritan woman left to go back to her village. (Verse 28)
a) The fact that she left without her water pots tells us that she now had new and higher interests.
b) In her excitement she left, but she would be coming back, bringing others with her.
3. The woman immediately began to evangelize her village. (Verses 28c, 29)
a) She approached the men of the city, whom she knew best.
b) She gave a simple testimony, not flattering to herself.
c) She asked of them, “Is not this the Christ?”
(1) Her question does not suggest that she herself had any doubt that this man was indeed the Christ.
(2) It was intended to cause them to come and see for themselves that she was correct.
4. As Jesus and His disciples were conversing, the Samaritans began to come out to see this man of whom the woman had spoken. (Verse 30)

B. JESUS EXPRESSED A REMARKABLE JOY OVER MYSTERIOUS MEAT. (VERSES 31-34)
1. The disciples expressed their concern for His physical welfare. (Verse 31)
a) They were preoccupied with physical food.
b) It had been a long arduous journey, and they had gone into town to buy food; and now they desired that He join them in partaking of it, in order to be physically refreshed.
c) There was nothing wrong with their actions. In fact, we admire them for their concern, and for not wanting to eat without Him.
d) But, just as the woman had learned about spiritual water that was not from the well, the disciples were about to learn about spiritual meat that was not from the market.
2. Jesus had a source of spiritual satisfaction that His disciples were not as yet aware of. (Verses 32, 34)
a) As physical food nourishes, refreshes, and delights the body, so spiritual labor does the soul.
b) Jesus had been engaged in spiritual labors even as He sat on the well; He had been doing and finishing the Father’s will, even in their absence. (Verses 32, 34)
c) This was spiritual meat that was so satisfying to His souls that even His physical hunger was mysteriously assuaged.
d) This labor (of sowing) brought Him a spiritual rejoicing that refreshed Him more than food could.
3. The disciples were puzzled how someone could be so satisfied and refreshed without physical food. (Verse 33)
a) The disciples’ lack of understanding about spiritual food that is revealed here in their private discussion is very similar to that which was seen earlier in the woman’s questions about living water. (Verse 11)
b) They would need to learn from experience what Jesus was saying. There was a spiritual harvest to be reaped in which they would experience the kind of heavenly joy and surpassing satisfaction that Jesus was talking about.
c) Do we know what He meant? Have we ever experienced the kind of soul-satisfying “meat” that can override the body’s desire for physical food?

C. JESUS WENT ON TO PREDICT AN UNUSUAL KIND OF HARVEST. (VERSES 35-38)
1. It would be a harvest that would come without the usual period of waiting. (Verse 35)
a) The natural setting accommodated Jesus’ purpose. There were great wheat fields in the area around Sychar.
b) In the natural realm there were four months until the harvest.
c) However, there was to be a spiritual harvest immediately.
d) Even as Jesus spoke, multitudes of Samaritans were coming across the fields to meet with Him.
e) Thus, and immediate harvest of souls was about to be reaped for which they had not labored; neither did they have to wait for the ripening of the crops.
2. In reaping these souls, the disciples would enter into Jesus’ joy. (Verse 36)
a) They were about to become reapers.
b) For this they would get to receive “wages.” Getting to witness the Samaritans receiving “eternal life” was indeed their great reward.
c) In this, they would enter into the joy that Jesus knew.
3. In reaping these souls, the disciples were entering into the labors of others. (Verses 37, 38)
a) In this particular case, Jesus had been the sower, and now they would be the reapers.
b) That which they were to experience here in Samaria would be repeated throughout their Apostolic ministry.
c) The conversion of the Samaritans anticipated the salvation of the Gentiles.
(1) In this great work, Paul and others would become the great laborers.
(2) However, after Pentecost, and even after Paul’s conversion and call, it would be by the mouth of Peter that Gentiles would first “hear the word of the Gospel and believe.” (Acts 15:7)

II. NEXT, WE HAVE THE ACCOUNT OF JESUS AND THE SAMARITAN VILLAGERS. (VERSES 39-42)

A. THE SAMARITANS EAGERLY WELCOMED JESUS. (VERSES 39, 40)
1. As they came believing on Jesus, the disciples were seeing the blessed harvest that Jesus had predicted.
a) They first believed because of the testimony of the woman. “Many of the Samaritans believed on him for the saying of the woman.” (Verse 40)
b) They then believed because they heard Jesus for themselves. (Verse 41)
c) Even when our testimony is believed, it is always Jesus Himself who has “the words of eternal life.” We therefore say: “Hear Him!”
2. The Samaritans invited Jesus and His company to tarry with them. (Verse 40)
a) Actually, “they besought Him” to remain there for a while, so eager were they to hear more of His words.
b) This is what the Jews ought to have done, but did not.
c) Jesus heeded their request, and remained with them two days. What wondrous things they must have heard Him teach.
d) It is always a good sign when those who profess faith want to keep Jesus near; and they are eager to learn of Him. (Compare Acts 10:44-48)

B. THE SAMARITANS BOLDLY PROCLAIMED JESUS TO BE THE CHRIST AND THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD. (VERSE 42)
1. This proclamation came out of true heart convictions, which arose from personal exposure to Jesus.
2. They first agreed with the woman, who, having borne witness, said, “Is not this the Christ?” Then, having seen and heard for themselves, they were convinced absolutely. “This is indeed the Christ!”
3. He is “the Savior of the world,” evidenced by the salvation of these non-Jewish Samaritans.

JOHN 4:1-26

APRIL 30 / MAY 7, 2017

JESUS AND THE WOMAN OF SAMARIA

INTRODUCTION:

1. The opening of Chapter 4 marks the end of the first phase of Jesus’ public ministry in Judea. There was clearly an uneasiness on the part of the Jewish leaders which caused Him to withdraw from Judea at this time, and return back to Galilee. Verse 1 indicates that the Pharisees had now come to see Jesus as a greater threat than John the Baptist.
2. Not bound by the prejudice common among the Jews, Jesus would pass through Samaria in route to Galilee.
a) Samaria lay to the north between Judea and the southern Province of Galilee.
b) At the time, Samaria was inhabited by a mongrel race, part Jew and part Gentile. This situation dated back to the Assyrian captivity of the northern tribes, at which time heathens were placed in the cities of Samaria. (II Kings 17:24ff)
c) Most of the stricter Jews would not even pass through Samaria, lest they should be defiled, but would bypass it, taking the trans-Jordan route.
d) Nevertheless, Jesus takes this more direct route, not for convenience sake, but rather out of a certain necessity.

3. Thanks to John’s Gospel we have recorded one of the most remarkable incidents of all of our Lord’s earthly ministry. What an amazing story this is!!
4. The account of Jesus and the woman of Samaria is not only remarkable in itself, but it is also of great typical significance in that it represents the first-fruits, as it were, of the conversion of the Gentile world.

I. FIRST WE HAVE THE ACCOUNT OF THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE THAT ARRANGED THE MEETING BETWEEN JESUS AND THE WOMAN OF SAMARIA. (VERSES 1-6)

A. THE SITUATION THAT OCCASIONED JESUS’ DEPARTURE FROM JUDEA IS GIVEN. (VSES. 1-3)
1. Jesus sensed the uneasiness of the Jewish leaders over reports that He was making and baptizing more disciples than John. (Verse 1)
a) In Verse 2 John adds a note of clarification, explaining that Jesus did not Himself perform the baptisms, but His disciples did them by His authority.
b) In this way Jesus was showing His unity with John, but at the same time, His superiority to him.
2. Jesus here, as at other times, avoided conflict with the scribes and Pharisees by getting away from them. (Vs. 3) Of course, that was merely a secondary reason for His departure. His every step was ordered by His Father, whose will He was here to do. Whatever the secondary reasons for His movements, His primary motive was ever the same. (Luke 2:49)

B. IT WAS BY DIVINE NECESSITY THAT JESUS PASSED THROUGH SAMARIA IN ROUTE TO GALILEE. (VERSE 4)
1. What necessity could possibly dictate the actions of the Son of God? The answer is simple. He was moved and guided in His Divine Mission, according to the will of the Father.
2. “He must needs go through Samaria,” because there, even in such an unlikely place, resided one of the lost sheep that He was come to save.
3. Jesus came to seek and to save all of His sheep that are lost. He seeks them out one by one, and brings them into His fold. (Matt. 18:11-14)

C. JESUS CAME TO THE CITY OF SYCHAR, AND SPECIFICALLY TO JACOB’S WELL, WHICH WAS JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY. (VERSES 5, 6)
1. Sychar was the ancient city of Shechem, an area given by Jacob to his son, Joseph. (Vse. 5; see Gen. 33:19;48:22)
2. After the Assyrian takeover, a heathen temple was built atop Mount Gerizim, very near this place.
3. The Jews, in order to show their contempt for the Samaritans, called it Scheker, which means falsehood, or Schekar, which means liquor.
a) They called it the city of falsehood and drunkenness.
b) Yet, here came One to this city Who is the essence of truth and sobriety.
4. Jesus came here to Jacob’s well at about noon, and sat on the well, being weary from His journey, as well as thirsty, and one would suspect hungry.
5. Thus, Divine Providence has set the stage for a predetermined meeting between Jesus and a certain woman of Samaria.
a) The prospect of this meeting constituted the necessity which Jesus was under in coming here.
b) This meeting will result in the salvation of a Samaritan woman, now famously known as “The Woman at The Well.”

II. SECOND, WE HAVE THE ACCOUNT OF THE MEETING BETWEEN JESUS AND THE WOMAN OF SAMARIA. (VERSES 7-26)

A. JESUS ENGAGED THIS WOMAN SO AS TO STIR UP SPIRITUAL INTERESTS, AND RAISE HER THOUGHT TO THINGS ETERNAL. (VERSES 7-15)
1. He began by surprising and obliging her with a single request. (Verse 7)
a) His simple request, “Give me to drink,” took the woman by surprise because it disregarded an age-old wall between the Jews and the Samaritans. (Verse 9)
b) His request obliged her by asking of her a basic human service that no social or religious barrier should prevent. The woman, though she was surprised that He would engage a Samaritan in this way, did not refuse His request.
2. His disciples were gone away into the city to buy food, which allowed Jesus the opportunity to discourse with the woman one on one about spiritual things.
3. Jesus, by requesting of the woman a drink of water to satisfy His thirst, was laying the groundwork for speaking with her about her need for “living water.” (Verse 10)
a) Literally, this is running water, as from a spring. However, He gives it a higher meaning based on “the gift of God,” and His true nature. “Who it is that saith to thee…”
b) He speaks of salvation, which He alone is able to give. “Thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”
c) The woman, taking Him literally, raised some practical questions. (Verses 11, 12) (Just as Nicodemus did not understand the spiritual nature of the new birth, she did not understand that living water is a spiritual drink that satisfies spiritual thirst.)
(1) She wanted to know how Jesus, with no drawing vessel, could get this “living water” out of this deep well. (Verse 11)
(2) She wanted to know if He was greater that Jacob who dug this well, and himself drew water from it for himself, his family, and his livestock. (Verse 12)
4. Jesus would next come to the point, and turn the woman’s thoughts from things literal and temporal to things spiritual and eternal, even eternal life. (Verses 13, 14)
a) The living water of which He spoke could not be drawn from Jacob’s well. Even a miraculous provision of spring water would still provide only temporary relief. (Verse 13)
b) Jesus was speaking of spiritual water that constantly quenches the thirst of the soul. (Verse 14)
c) He is talking about “everlasting life” that comes by faith in Him. (John 7:37, 38)
5. The woman, seeing how satisfying and convenient that water so miraculously could be, asked Jesus to give it to her. (Verse 15)
a) Clearly, she had not yet come to see the spiritual nature of this water, nor of her soul’s need of living water.
b) Some think she said this is jest. “Give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come here to draw.” This view is plausible, for even if one needed no water to drink, they would still need to draw water for other purposes.
c) But, whether she was being sarcastic, or asking sincerely, she clearly had not yet come to a spiritual understanding of Jesus’ offer.
(1) The fact that she addressed Jesus respectfully would suggest that she was sincere and not sarcastic in her request. “Sir…”
(2) Yet her desire did not rise above temporal satisfaction and personal convenience. “…that I thirst not, neither come here to draw.”
(3) Her faith at this point was no better than those who “believed…when they saw the miracles.” (See Ch. 2:23, 24)
(4) Too many who profess to be Christians have no better faith than this.
(a) It is all about temporal satisfaction and personal convenience.
(b) It is entered into without repentance.

B. JESUS SUCCEEDED IN BRINGING THIS WOMAN TO GENUINE REPENTANCE AND FAITH. (VERSES 16-26)
1. He made her to face her state of sin. (Verses 16-18)
a) Desire for eternal life is not enough; sin must be owned and forsaken.
b) In asking about her husband, Jesus brought to light her sad moral state.
c) She had been married five times, and was now living in adultery.
2. He made her to face her religious error. (Verses 19-24)
a) Sinful as she was, this woman had strong religious persuasions.
b) Being impressed with Jesus, thinking that He had to be a prophet, she raised the issue of the essential difference between the Jews and Samaritans. (Verses 19, 20)
c) As the true Prophet, Jesus revealed the nature of true religion. (Verses 21-24)
(1) It does not consist in a certain place. (Verse 21)
(2) It is based in clear knowledge, not merely tradition or sentiment. (Verse 22)
(3) It has for its great object the worship of God the Father. (Verse 23)
(4) It does not consist in ceremonial observances, but in spiritual exercises, springing forth from “truth in the inward parts.” (Verse 24; Psa. 51:6)
(a) Its temple is the “spirit” (heart) of man.
(b) Its dogma is “truth.”
d) Jesus was inviting this woman to become a true worshiper. (Verses 23b, 24)
(1) God is even now seeking true worshipers in the Person of His Son.
(2) This woman was sought and brought to this knowledge, that she might become such a worshiper by faith.
3. He brought her to faith and submission. (Verses 25, 26)
a) Notice, this woman somehow knew of, and expected Messiah. (Verse 25)
b) She recognized divine qualities in Jesus that caused her to think that He might be the Messiah. (Verse 25b)
c) Jesus announced to her that He was, indeed, the Messiah. (Verse 26)
4. This woman’s faith was immediately demonstrated. (Verses 28-30) This we shall consider more fully in our next study.

JOHN 3:22-36

APRIL 23, 2017

JOHN, THE BRIDEGROOM’S FRIEND; AND JESUS, THE BRIDEGROOM

INTRODUCTION:

1. In Verse 22 we read, “After these things…”

a) After Jesus had made his official Messianic entrance into the temple, first manifesting Himself as a Reformer calling for national repentance (Ch. 2:13-22);
b) After He had manifested Himself as Prophet, teaching and working miracles (Ch. 2:23-25);
c) After He had demonstrated His prophetic roll in His wonderful conference with Nicodemus (Ch. 3:1-21).

2. “After these things,” He and the disciples removed from Jerusalem out into the countryside of Judea, where they were baptizing. Jesus did not Himself baptize, but His disciples (Ch. 4:2), however it was under His authority.
3. Since they were baptizing in near proximity to where John the Baptist was, the Jews seized this opportunity to attempt to stir up controversy between Christ and His loyal friend, John.
4. It appears form what we read here that the Jews’ intention was to try and provoke John to jealousy. Actually there was a twofold effort toward that end.

a) In Verse 25, the dispute between John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying may have had to do with some purifying institutions under the Mosaic Law; or, perhaps the question that arose was over whose baptism was most purifying: John’s or Jesus’.
b) In Verse 26, John’s disciples brought the whole matter to their master because apparently the Jews had convinced John’s disciples that John’s baptism was being slighted, and also that John himself was being upstaged by Jesus.

5. It is in his response to all of this that John shines forth as one of the greatest examples of Christian humility to be found in all of Scripture.

a) John here gives a marvelous testimony in which he identifies himself as a faithful friend of the Bridegroom; and Jesus as the True Bridegroom.
b) John, in his testimony, insists that Jesus must have the preeminence, while his own purpose was to decrease so as not to detract in any way from Him to whom all honor must be given.

I. JOHN HERE SETS HIMSELF FORTH AS THE FRIEND OF THE BRIDEGROOM. (VERSES 27-30)

A. JOHN WAS PERFECTLY CONTENT WITH BEING THE FRIEND OF THE BRIDEGROOM, SEEING THAT WAS THE PART THAT GOD HAD PURPOSED FOR HIM. (VERSES 27-29)

1. John’s disciples tried to create a rivalry between him and Jesus, but John let them know that he was only doing what his heavenly assignment entailed.

a) If all men were coming to Jesus (Verse 26b), it had to be because God had purposed it to be so. (Of course, that was an exaggeration propagated by the Jews in order to provoke John to jealousy.)
b) They pointed out that Jesus had been “with John;” John had born witness of Him, gave Him His start, as it were, and now “all men” were flocking to Jesus. But John was well aware of his roll, and not only did he have no problem with Jesus’ success, he rather rejoiced in it. His calling was to prepare the way for Messiah (Ch. 1:23); to bear witness to the true Light (Ch. 1:8); to open the door so that the true Shepherd of Israel might enter. (Ch. 10:2.Ch. 10:2, 3)
c) John was performing the divinely ordained task that was assigned him, and so also was Jesus.

2. John had made it clear from the outset that he was not the Messiah. (Verse 28; Ch. 1:19-27)
3. John’s part was that of the Bridegroom’s friend. This was an official person.

a) The friend of the bridegroom was to go on behalf of the bridegroom to the bride, and ask her hand in marriage.
b) He then acts as a go-between for the bridegroom and the bride, if she reciprocated.
c) He was to preside at the marriage feast. He was a very important figure; to this point he was the most visible, but he was not the bridegroom, and his visibility would soon fade.
d) In doing this, the friend would “hear” the vows of love between the bridegroom and the bride.
e) All of this is a touching picture of the ministry of John the Baptist.

4. John assured them that he was most delighted, and perfectly fulfilled in performing his duties as the Bridegroom’s friend. “This my joy therefore is fulfilled.” There was therefore no jealousy in John’s heart whatsoever.

B. AS THE FRIEND OF THE BRIDEGROOM, JOHN KNEW THAT HIS PART WOULD DECREASE. (VERSE 30)

1. This was necessary because of the nature of the case according to the custom of the day.

a) In the beginning stages, the friend of the Bridegroom had a prominent roll.
b) As the go-between, only his voice would be heard by the bride, for he would speak for the Bridegroom.
c) In time, as things progressed, the bride would hear less and less form the friend.
d) The Bridegroom would finally assume the central and prominent roll. “He must increase.”

2. This was especially necessary in this case because of the nature of this Bridegroom. He is unique and glorious.

II. JOHN HERE SETS JESUS FORTH AS THE BRIDEGROOM.

A. HE IS A GLORIOUSLY UNIQUE BRIDEGROOM. (VERSES 31-35)

1. He is unique in His origin. (Verse 31)

a) He is from above.
(1) The calling and mission of every divine agent is from above.
(2) But, the very Person of Jesus the Christ is uniquely from above. All other divine agents are born from above (Verse 3), but He actually “came down from heaven.” (Compare Verse 13)
b) He Who is from above is therefore above all. All previous agents, including John, must be eclipsed by Jesus, for they are all “of the earth,” and He is “from heaven.”
c) John speaks of himself by comparison.
(1) His origin: “He that is of the earth…”
(2) His being: “He…is earthly.”
(3) His teaching: “He…speaketh of the earth.”
d) Jesus alone is absolutely from above.

2. Jesus is unique in the perfection of His teaching. (Verses 32-34)

a) His teaching comes from filial communication with the Father. (Verse 32a; Compare Verse 11)
(1) Jesus came from heaven and spoke of the things which He knew firsthand.
(2) As opposed to the earthly speech of John and others of the earth, Jesus spoke of what He had personally seen and heard of the Father in heaven.
b) In spite of this, the generality of Israel did not believe Him. (Contrary to what the Jewish agitators were saying.)
(1) The Jews were telling John’s disciples that “all men come to Him.” John said, “No man receiveth His testimony.”
(2) John allows that some believed and those who did truly receive His testimony set to their seal that God is true. (Verse 33)
a) Faith in Christ as the true Mediator and Savior gives testimony to the truth of God, and seals it.
b) This John also stated in his first Epistle: “He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God have of his Son.” (I John 5:10)
c) Those who do believe Him, officially attest that He has spoken the very words of God.
d) Jesus’ words were the very words of God because the Father sent Him. (Verse 34)
e) His words are the very words of God because God has given Him the Holy Spirit without measure.

3. Jesus is unique through His dignity as Son. (Verse 35a)
a) The Father has an incomparable love for the Son. The eternal Father loved the world (Verse 16) but He loved the Son with a more singular and peculiar love, so that all things were by the Father delivered to Him.
b) “Love” here is absolute, as are “sent” and “speaketh.” (Verse 34)

4. Jesus is unique in His resultant ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY. (Verse 35b)

a) John would never complain that He Who is from above, and one with the Father, should receive the preeminence.
b) John would never complain against God whose purpose it was to give all things into the hands of His Son.
c) John would never complain against Him Who has a natural right to all things. (Eph. 1:22)

B. HOW ONE RESPONDS TO HIM WHOM GOD HAS SENT IS MOST SERIOUS. (VERSE 36)

1. One who believeth on Him has (as a present reality) eternal life. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.”
2. One who believeth not remains in a state of spiritual death. “He that believeth not the Son, shall not see life.” Notice, in order to believe on Him one must believe Him, i.e. believe His words. (Rom. 10:17)
3. One who believeth not the Son draws the wrath of God upon himself, both now and forever.

a) God’s wrath presently abides on the unbeliever.
b) To continue as an unbeliever will be to experience the horrors of unmitigated wrath eternally.
c) May we all hear and heed John’s warning, and “flee the wrath to come.” (Matt. 3:7)

JOHN 3:8-21

APRIL 16, 2017

JESUS AND NICODEMUS (PART II)

INTRODUCTION:

1. The account of Jesus and Nicodemus serves as the inauguration of Jesus’ teaching in this Gospel, just as the Sermon on the Mount does in the Synoptic Gospels.
2. Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee, and a member of the Sanhedrin, came to Jesus by night to make inquiry. He apparently represented other members of the council as well, for he said, “We know that thou art a teacher come from God.”
3. Part one of this interview was more of a dialogue in which questions were asked and answered; in which also objections were raised and answered. Nicodemus was astonished at Jesus’ declaration of the requirements for entrance into the Kingdom of God. (Verses 1-8)
4. Now, in Part two of this interview, it is Jesus’ turn to be astonished, if you will, at Nicodemus’ spiritual ignorance, since he was a well-known teacher among the Jews. (Verses 9, 10)
a) Nicodemus did not deny what Jesus had said.
b) He only acknowledged that Jesus’ teaching about spiritual birth was strange to him.
c) Jesus expressed legitimate astonishment at this.

5. This second part of Jesus’ discourse was marked by silence on the part of Nicodemus.
a) Here Jesus treats Nicodemus with touching kindness and condescension.
b) Here Jesus fully reveals to Nicodemus Who He is, and what He came to do.

I. JESUS DECLARED TO NICODEMUS WHO AND WHAT HE WAS. (VERSES 11-13)

A. JESUS ANNOUNCED A TEACHING WHICH RESTS ON IMMEDIATE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. (VERSE 11)
1. This was in opposition to the Rabbinical teaching which had to do with the letter of Scripture, but missed its essential truth.
a) Clearly, the central truth of Scripture was missed. (John 5:39)
b) Yet, the Scripture was clear, otherwise why would Jesus have been astonished that Nicodemus did not know these things? (Verse 10)
2. Christ here speaks of the certainty of Gospel truth, in which knowledge rises to sight and speaking is to testify of the reality.
a) Jesus said, “We speak what we know.” He and the others who bore witness from heaven, namely, the Father and the Holy Spirit.
b) The truths of Christ are of undoubted certainty. They are faithful sayings upon which we may venture our souls.
c) Jesus is not only a credible witness, who would never deceive us, but a competent witness, who could not Himself be deceived. “We testify that we have seen.”
d) What He speaks on all matters pertaining to God, the invisible world, of heaven and hell, of the divine will, and the counsels of peace, was what He knew, and had seen, for He was “by him as one brought up with him.” (Psa. 8:30)
e) The unbelief of sinners is greatly aggravated by the infallible certainty of the truths of Christ. “And ye receive not our witness.”

B. JESUS CALLED NICODEMUS TO FAITH. (VERSE 12)
1. Jesus had accommodated Nicodemus by communicating sublime heavenly truths through “earthly things,” i.e. similitudes and expressions borrowed from common earthly things.
2. If such familiar expressions were stumbling-blocks, what would be the case if He were to speak of spiritual things, i.e. “heavenly things” in their proper light without the aid of earthly comparisons?
3. These “heavenly things,” the Jewish leaders, represented by Nicodemus, had not understood, and had not believed.
4. Such things are only spiritually understood and it requires a quickening work by the Holy Spirit in order for mankind to grasp them. (Verse 3; I Cor. 2:14) As Jesus went on to speak of these “heavenly things,” Nicodemus, judging from his later witness, was apparently given grace to receive His teaching. (Ch. 7:50; 19:39)

C. JESUS REVEALED HIMSELF AS THE TEACHER, WHO, IN HIS OWN PERSON, WAS THE PERFECT REVEALER. (VERSE 13)
1. In this declaration, Jesus is no doubt mindful of Nicodemus’ initial statement in Verse 2. “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God.”
2. Indeed, He is more than “a teacher come from God.” He is the Son of Man Who came down from heaven.
3. Moreover, though He is come down, He is even now in heaven. This is the first of those “heavenly things” Jesus spoke to Nicodemus.

II. JESUS REVEALED TO NICODEMUS WHAT HE HAD COME TO DO. (VERSES 14-17) This is the second “heavenly thing” of which Jesus spoke.

A. HE REVEALED THE SPIRITUAL NATURE OF SALVATION AS FORESHADOWED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES. (VERSE 14; NUM. 21:9)
1. He had just presented a different Messiah than the Pharisees expected. Next He revealed a different salvation than they were interested in.
2. The salvation revealed was actually foreshadowed in the Old Testament, when the Israelites were in the wilderness. (Num. 21:4-9)
3. The people, being judged for their sin were being bitten and were dying from the bits of fiery serpents.
4. When nothing availed for their healing, the people cried to Moses, and he cried to God.
5. Moses was instructed to make a serpent of brass, attach it to a pole, and lift it up in the midst of the camp.
6. Messengers were sent out to announce the means of cure. “Look and live.”
7. Those that looked in faith lived.
8. Just so, the “Son of Man” had to be “lifted up” on a cross.

B. HE REVEALED A SALVATION THAT REQUIRES THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH. (VERSE 15)
1. Faith is the look that avails in salvation. “That whosoever believeth in Him…”
2. Faith alone saves from perishing. “…should not perish…”
3. Faith secures eternal life. “…but have eternal life.”

C. HE REVEALED A SALVATION THAT IS UNIVERSAL IN ITS SCOPE. (VERSES 16, 17)
1. The source of it is God’s love. (The love of compassion.)
2. The object of it is the world. There is one salvation for all mankind, whether Jew or Gentile.
3. The gift of love is God’s own Son.
4. The means by which salvation is obtained is faith; not faith in faith, but faith in the Son of God. “…whosoever believeth in Him.”
5. The result of it is eternal life for believers.
6. The divine purpose for which God sent His son is stated both negatively and positively. (Verse 17)
a) He sent Him not to condemn. Judgment is God’s “strange work.”
b) He sent Him to save. Saving sinners if God’s delight.

III. JESUS SHOWED NICODEMUS WHAT WILL RESULT TO HUMANITY FROM HIS COMING. (VERSES 18-21)

A. CHRIST’S COMING BROUGHT A PRESENT-DAY AND CONTINUING JUDGMENT. (VS. 18)
1. To go along with presenting a different Messiah, and a different salvation than the Pharisees expected, Jesus presented a different judgment.
2. It is a present-day and continuing judgment.
a) Believers escape judgment, for their judgment is in Another.
b) Unbelievers are judged already by the very fact of their unbelief.

B. UNBELIEF REVEALS ONE’S TRUE INNER HEART AND CHARACTER. (VERSES 19, 20)
1. It shows a rejection of light and a love of darkness. Because of their love for sin, they hate the light that exposes it, preferring the dens of darkness where sin dwells.
2. It reveals the continuing practice of evil. (Verses 19b, 20)
3. Is shows a fear of the revelation and rebuke for sin. (Verse 20)

C. FAITH, ON THE OTHER HAND, REVEALS THE INNER WORKING OF THE GRACE OF GOD. (VERSE 21)
1. It causes a love and longing for truth and light. “He that doeth truth cometh to the light.”
2. It produces an actual drawing to Christ. “He…cometh to the light.”
3. It manifests God’s inner working of grace in the actions of the believer.