#DailyDevotion We Testify What We Know & Have Seen
John 3:8-17 9“How can that be?” Nicodemus asked Him. 10“You are the teacher in Israel,” Jesus said to him, “and don’t know this? 11I tell you the truth, We tell what We know, and We testify to what we have seen. But you people don’t accept our testimony. 12If you don’t believe the earthly things I told you, how will you believe Me if I tell you heavenly things? 13No one has gone up to heaven except the One Who came down from heaven — the Son of Man. 14“As Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up 15so that everyone who believes in Him has everlasting life. 16God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. 17You see, God didn’t send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.
Who is this “We” Jesus is talking about? Well being the gospel lesson for Trinity Sunday you can bet it’s the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But to be fair to the time line in John’s Gospel, Jesus is probably referring the Father and himself. He tells us in the upper room eleven chapters later the Holy Spirit will testify of him and what he has taught to his disciples. As God is One, I don’t think it’s terrible violence to the text to include the Holy Spirit in the telling and testifying. The Spirit was in the previous verses concerning how we are born from above and enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus reveals to Nicodemus and to us what God’s plan is. The one who came down from heaven, the Son of Man must be lifted up like Moses raised the serpent in the desert. That is really strange considering the Old Testament reference to the Son of Man. It comes from Daniel seven. He comes down from heaven in glory, raises the dead and judges mankind. Yet Jesus says the Son of Man must be lifted up. This sounds more like Isaiah fifty-three’s suffering servant. Well the two are one and same. So before the Son of Man comes down in glory for judgment he must be lifted up in glory, the glory of the cross.
It is an interesting thing God has chosen to do here. The Israelites, because of their rebellion, were being afflicted by God with venomous serpents. When they cried out he had Moses make a bronze serpent on a staff that whoever looked upon it would be saved from the serpents bite. Man, Adam, was inflicted by the serpent’s bite, the devil, in the Garden. Now God has the Son of Man lifted up upon a cross that whoever looks upon him would not perish but have eternal life. Everyone who believes in Jesus (not just that he exist but trust in him) would not perish but have eternal life. Such is the love of the Father toward mankind that he would send his son into the world to become one of us and die on the cross for us.
But that is God’s primary will towards mankind. It is now anger and wrath but love and compassion. Jesus tells us he didn’t come into the world to condemn it but to save it. It is only when we reject the Father’s love in Christ for us do we receive on the Last Day the judgment and wrath we deserve. Don’t want to know and experience God’s secondary will, judgment, on the Last Day? Look to Jesus Christ of Nazareth, trust he has rescued you from sin, death, guilt and shame by his death on the cross, be baptized into Christ Jesus and you will only know the Father’s love, compassion, mercy, kindness and forgiveness. You will receive his life eternal.
Heavenly Father, continue to reveal to us heavenly things, that in and through Jesus we may know you and by your Holy Spirit look to Jesus, be born from above and enter into your eternal kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.