Currently, we're doing a study by Dr. Tony Evans, titled The Gospel of John, and it's a great study, because Tony Evans is a great teacher. This mornings lesson involved John chapter 3, and if you're a believer, that passage is probably somewhat familiar to you.
It's the passage where Nicodemus, a religious leader, a ruler of the Jewish ruling council, sneaks into see Jesus at night, so no one would see him, and began asking questions. I like the passage, because Nicodemus is close to the kingdom of God, he has questions, and he knows he won't find answers from fellow Jewish leaders. He want's to know who Jesus is. And I admire that in anybody, the boldness and courage it sometimes takes to ask those questions. Especially from a Jewish leader in Jesus' day.
It's in this passage we see one of our favorite passages, John 3:16, "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."
But that's not the verse I want to talk about today. It's the next verse, verse 17, that I want to look at this morning. Because while 3:16 shows compassion, 3:17 shows why it's really needed. Verse 17 reads, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
I think a lot of people today think that Jesus is a condemning person, that he is always condemning you for having fun, for living the way you might want, for doing what you want. And I admit, it can feel convicting to face your sins and have to deal with them when you want to grow closer to Jesus.
But the truth is, it's not Jesus that condemns us. The verse tells us that we are condemned already, we are condemned by our sin. You are condemned already, because you are a sinner already. Following Jesus doesn't condemn you. Following Jesus frees you from the condemnation you're already under.
Jesus didn't come to rub your nose in it, He came to free you from it.
That's what following Jesus does. It gives us a way out of our sinfulness. It's gives a way to address the pain in our hearts, the guilt, the heartache, the lack of feeling, the hurt. Because those feelings come from a separation from God. A separation from God comes from our sinfulness. Address the sinfulness, the feelings of despair go away. The hopelessness can go away.
Jesus didn't come to condemn you. He loves you. He came to rescue you, to save you, to make you right with the God who made you, who also loves you.
If you would like to know more, please comment or touch base with me.