Short Meditations in John 3: 14. The End Goal
Jn 3:15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life
These claims of Jesus become greater and greater as he goes along and one wonders how Nicodemus was coping with it all. There are those who claim that Jesus was just a good teacher but the record denies that weak and limited assessment of him. In these verses we have just been looking at how he has first of all claimed that he has come down from heaven, second that he must die a saviour’s death and now, that the outcome will be that anyone who believes in him – in who he is and what he has achieved as the will of God – will receive eternal life.
Now perhaps we take these last two words for granted and anyone who comes across them for the first time might be forgiven for thinking that it means that whoever believes in Jesus will never die, and in one sense that is true. The body will die at what we normally call the end of our life, but the spirit and soul will continue in eternity with God. This is the emphasis behind the phrase ‘eternal life’, it is life with God.
For those of us who have read these verses many times have perhaps become too familiar with them but for the person who worries about their future and especially what might happen at death, they come bringing new hope. Yes, the promise is that this material world is not all that is; there is a spiritual world and we were designed to inhabit it, but we can only do that when we have been set free from the sin-focused life of self-centred godlessness which is all we knew previously.
Nicodemus comes with questions that were never uttered but were there implied: who are you, what is all this about? He finds answer being given to him that he is not entirely comfortable with – at first sight at least.
First about a new life: You must be born again and have a completely new life, empowered and directed by the Holy Spirit. Only that way will you experience God’s rule. How does it happen? Don’t worry about that! You accept the wind around you, blowing as it wills without your knowledge or origin or end, so accept the working of my Spirit.
Second about Jesus: But don’t focus on the workings of the new life, but realise that I am the one who brings it because I alone have come from heaven and when I am raised up in death, resurrection and ascension I will draw many to myself and if you will believe in me and what I have come to achieve you will receive eternal life, life with my Father in heaven in eternity.
Do you see what has happened: a seeker comes seeking but not sure what he is seeking and he finds the way to experience the kingdom of God by being born again and receiving the work of the Saviour Son.