Pastor Steve Ellison
John 3 begins with a night time meeting between Jesus and Nicodemus. We do not know for sure why Nicodemus came at night but I have a guess. I think that it had nothing to do with Nicodemus. I think it was to set up a very important lesson that Jesus desired to teach to his disciples after Nicodemus left. We are not told explicitly, but it appears that the disciples were present for this meeting in which Jesus told Nicodemus about the necessity for a new birth, from above. As soon as Nicodemus left, Jesus seized upon the chance to teach a marvelous lesson to his disciples. The fact that Nicodemus came in the dark presented Jesus with the opportunity to reveal Himself as the Light. Well over thirty times the New Testament refers to Christ as the Light. Many of those times come from John the Apostle.
John 3:16-21 is not the first or the last passage but it certainly sheds much earthly light on The Light from heaven, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." NASU Verse sixteen is very familiar to us, but it seems to me that we have neglected what follows. As He almost always does, God points out that our salvation is by His marvelous grace, then He goes on to tell us how we can measure ourselves to see if we have been saved. John 3:1-18 tells how salvation takes place. John 3:19-21 gives practical application so that we can know if this new birth from above has taken place. Even though the Holy Spirit moves undetected as the wind (verse 8), we can see the effects of the Holy Spirit just like we see the effects of the wind.
Verses nineteen through twenty-one tell us how to judge ourselves. If our deeds are evil, we will love the darkness not the Light. If we are afraid to let others know the things we do, then our deeds are evil, thus we love the darkness not the Light. If we practice the truth, we will come to the Light and God will glorify Himself by making it known that we did not do these things on our own. God did them through and for us. Please note that we are called to “practice truth”, thus emphasizing a continued act, a habitual thing. Also, note that the contrast between darkness and Light is not illustrated by “evil and good” but by “evil and truth”. Hiding our evil deeds under the cover of darkness is a form of untruth. I direct your attention to Job 24:13-17 (NKJV) which is a marvelously appropriate and contemporary description of loving the darkness. So, what did your testing/judging of yourself reveal? Is verse eight true in your life? Can you see evidence of the wind in your life? Forgiveness is only a repentant prayer away. ..……..…..firstname.lastname@example.org