I know that some of what I’m going to cover tonight has already been covered by Tom last week. But there’s nothing wrong with hearing the Word of God twice so it’ll be okay.
If you would, please turn with me to .
Tonight there is no question that this will be a night of exalting Christ Jesus.
As we walk through this text we’re going to see:
The Symbol, The Savior and The Sincerity.
Looking backwards at what Tom probably taught through last week, share with me some of what was said.
(Allow for answers)
There is to be found in Christ Jesus a Satisfaction which can only be found in Him alone.
Ironically, this is something that all of humanity has been searching for since the fall of man.
We can see this clearly through occults and forms of mysticism that show up in our societies.
In fact, Paul tells us as much over in .
He says that the people, claiming to be wise become fools and make for themselves gods out of everything besides giving it to the person who truly deserves the glory.
All of creation groans for something to be made right that has been desperately wrong since the fall.
Think back to ancient Israel.
How often did the people of the Lord run to false gods?
Think back to worshippers and the prophets of baal.
All of our social constructs reveal to us that mankind is searching for something that has been lost.
Putting into place all that they can, yet falling short of truly finding what their heart knows should be there.
Yet look at these words of Jesus.
“If anyone thirsts, let him to me and drink.”
It is Jesus and Him alone who can satisfy.
Every other religion in the world bids for mankind to come.
Come and drink and this will tide you over.
Yet all of them will fall short of being able to sustain the one who comes.
Because none of them can offer what Jesus offers them.
None of them can quench the thirst of man for all of time and eternity with merely a single drink.
Jesus is the water of life.
Jesus then follows up that statement with, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of His heart will flow rivers of living water.”
This is a claim beyond measure.
Do you realize this?
Now many would argue that this has to do with the works that the person will produce once they are redeemed.
That this verse is specifically speaking of works after salvation.
Yet I would argue that this verse isn’t referencing works at all.
Works will come from what is being spoken of here, but they are not the focus.
Instead, the idea here is that all those people who believe upon Christ as the Scripture has said,
There will be a definite change of heart and demeanor.
The emotion, excitement and enjoyment of that person who has come to Christ Jesus will be different.
They will no longer be broken by that which the world teaches them to be broken over.
They may struggle and deal with the very same issues as their neighbor.
Yet, at the end of the day, their continence will be different!
They can lose everything in this world, yet their joy will not have faded.
Their hopes will not have been shattered.
For they know that their King has a plan for them that will bring glory and honor to Him for all of eternity.
So let’s pause here for just a second because I want to ask you an introspective question.
Is this what you see in your life?
Think about a parole hearing that you wished would have went different.
Maybe it didn’t go fairly.
Maybe after coming here your wife decided she wasn’t going to wait.
Look, all of these rightfully so should and will crush even the strongest of men.
But the question I have is this, does it prevent you from having joy in your redeemer?
Does it stop you from offering praise to your King?
This river of living water flowing from the heart of the Christian comes with the realization that this life is not his own.
That He belongs to the Lord and the Lord will be the one to use that person for His purposes.
And very often, that means that life does not go the way that we would desire for it to go.
Sometimes that means that we are left abandoned by those around us who are supposed to love us the most.
Sometimes it means that the ambitions and the desires that we have or had for our lives are cast aside in raging ways.
Ways which you or I would have never chosen.
I know that this isn’t easy to hear but it is the truth of the Christian life.
It’s as true for you as it is for me!
If I had my way for my own life it would look different than what it looks like now.
But no matter what comes our way, as believers upon Christ, our joy and our excitement does not come from this temporal fleeting moment of time.
Instead, it comes from knowing Christ.
Knowing that one day all things will be restored to a new and better way.
This is another of the Symbol of new life which is found here in this passage.
V.39 Is Jesus speaking in reference to the coming of the Holy Spirit which was fulfilled both at Pentecost and in the lives of every person who comes to faith in Christ.
V.40 I want to show you the response of the people around Jesus.
Notice the emphasis here is being placed on some of them believing that Jesus was the Prophet.
This is very typical, even in our own time.
We can try like crazy to reason with and rationalize the Biblical Jesus to all of humanity.
Yet the truth of the matter will be this, not all will believe.
As was true in Jesus’ time is true in ours.
You can see this clearly happening in 41-42.
The people began to reason through what Jesus was saying and the end result was that many didn’t accept the Word of the Lord.
Had they accepted God’s Word here, they would have looked at Jesus and would be able to see that He was the one whom Scripture spoke of as the one to come.
Yet instead, V.44 shows that they chose to reject Christ.
While some would accept Jesus by faith and reason, others would reject him on the basis of their own thoughts.
And because of this, we can see how was played out in the life of Christ.
“He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”
This is the very nature of Jesus’ life.
From the moment of His birth if you look back over in Matthew you find that his persecution started long before He had ever done anything.
Yet this is precisely the life which Jesus chose.
And He did so knowing the full weight of the consequences of his choice.
Now I’m going to place several of these verses together here for a second.
Look at 45-49.
The officers had a desire to arrest Jesus or at the very least have something done about Him.
Yet they refused to do anything about Him on their own.
The officers went to the Chief Priests and the Pharisees expecting them to do something about this Jesus who was teaching in ways that they had never heard before.
Yet, if you flip back through the stuff we just read, what wrong had Christ done?
He hadn’t done anything wrong but instead, He spoke to them differently than any other man ever had.
This high King of heaven who humbled Himself and became a man spoke to them concerning a way for them to have eternal life.
To be made right before God.
To walk faithfully before God in ways which the Chief Priests and Pharisees could have only dreamed about.
And their response was to have something done with Him.
Because “No on ever spoke like this man!”
Now, to be fair here, I think most of us would have felt the very same way.
There might be a few in here tonight who would react totally different if we were alive when Christ came.
But I would argue that the vast majority of us, if we had anything of a zealous nature for God, we would act in the same way.
“Teacher, this man over here is deceiving people and leading people astray from what you’ve taught us, yet we’ve never heard anyone teach like Him.”
People are believing what he says and to be honest, it’s making a lot of since.
Yet what was their response?
Have you also been deceived?
Has anyone else of authority believed what He is saying?
I truly believe that many of us would be right there in the same boat with them.
Now this is not to say that we should be waiting on another Jesus and that we should sit here with our hearts open or anything like that.
No, God has already come in the person and His name is Jesus and His next return will look nothing like His last.
So we’re not awaiting another Messiah.
But these people were!
They were supposed to have their eyes peeled.
Waiting and watching for the day that He comes and yet here they are, rejecting Him.
Instead of attesting to the fact that this man was the one to come.
They instead insisted that He had some type of magic.
Some form of mysticism which led the people away from following God.
And because of we find here we know there has already been some conspiracy to murder Jesus.
Look at V.50-51.
There is one man of authority who has believed.
He was the one who reminded them that our law does not allow us to Judge a man before hearing and learning what he has done.
That man has believed.
Now out of curiosity, why would Nicodemus need to tell them this?
I cannot make this claim without resorting a little outside of Scripture here and merely using reason so I’ll tell you this upfront.
This is not Gospel truth and I am not sure that I could ever back this up with Scripture.
However, logic would tell me that the reason Nicodemus said this was because even now, at this point in the storyline of the life of Jesus;
These leaders were looking for ways to have Jesus executed.
They wanted this problem dealt and for Jesus to be made an example out of for all the world to see.
They were so narrow-minded about the coming Messiah that they would refuse to believe that this man named Jesus could ever possibly be the one.
Yet we know better today.
We know that not only was Jesus the one to come, He came in a way which revealed the character of God in very profound ways.