John 3.14-18 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Knowing is only half the battle
So, there I was completely stumped by a math problem that I should have understood. I had all the background info, but I just could not make it happen, and my daughter was just staring at me wondering why I wasn’t helping her. The truth is, I couldn’t help her or myself. I quickly found an excuse to walk away for a moment and used my trusty phone to go to a math help website. I watched a 5-minute video on how to solve this type of algebraic equation. The whole time the instructor was talking I knew exactly what they were saying but then they said something that floored me. It was a simple part of the process, but the most important part. Because I knew most of the info I was in deep trouble because without this one simple step, I was completely lost. I was totally humbled by one simple truth.
Nicodemus stood in front of Jesus, lips trembling, hands wringing, and little beads of sweat forming on his forehead. He was supposed to know this stuff and yet this “out of nowhere” Rabbi had stumped him completely. What was he supposed to say, what could he do? He knew that faking it wasn’t going to work, so he did the best thing he could have. He shut his mouth and listened to Jesus, and Jesus being Jesus, walked Nicodemus through the simple yet profound truth that Nicodemus had been missing his whole life. You see, Nicodemus had spent his life acquiring knowledge and attempting to operate in that knowledge, trusting in his years of diligent study to carry him into God’s grace, but Jesus smashed that whole picture. Jesus simply explained that everything Nicodemus had learned pointed to this moment of belief. It was time for the head and the heart to harmonize in belief, belief in the love of God evidenced in his Son, standing right before Nicodemus. So many of us, like Nicodemus, know about God, but so many have missed the one piece that solves the equation of this life, hope in Jesus through knowing who he is and believing in what he has done for us.
On Today’s Road: GI Joe said that “knowing is half the battle”, and Nicodemus learned that truth at the feet of Jesus, but what about us? Have you spent your time learning about God and missed knowing God? Like Nicodemus we have the incredible opportunity to gaze into the face of Jesus and find hope and salvation, learning to know God and discover who God made us to be.