What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus taught that a person must be reborn spiritually to enter the Kingdom of God. (vs. 3-8)
- We must each believe in Jesus to receive eternal life. (v. 16)
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- John the Baptist taught that he must “decrease” and that Jesus must “increase”.
- We must lift up the name of Jesus to others so they will come to believe in Him as their Savior and Lord.
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
Good morning Disciple-Makers:
If we had only one chapter to explain the gospel, this would probably be the one. This dialogue between Jesus and an apparently earnest but truly confused Nicodemus sums up the work of God through Christ in a few well-known verses.
But I’d like to pull to a higher elevation and notice the way the entire chapter exalts Jesus:
Nicodemus does so: 2- “No one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
Jesus claims so: 14: “The Son of Man must be lifted up that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” John loves double meaning and he is obviously referring here, and in two other places (see 12:32, particularly) to the “lifting up” of the cross. It was essential for the salvation of all who would believe. But these are also words of exaltation…of making Jesus great.
John the Baptist also testifies to his exalted status. His disciples complain that John is losing market share to Jesus. John says, Of course I am! That’s why I came. And then comes this great line: 30- “He must become greater; I must become less.” Or, my preferred in ESV “He must increase but I must decrease”
Two takeaways for me: as we make disciples, the BEST way to do so is to continue to lift up Jesus. Focus on who Jesus is and exalt HIM! He has promised that when he does, he will “draw all men to himself.” (12.32)
The other is this: John’s life motto would be a good one for everyone one of us: “He must become greater; I must become less.” Or “He must increase, I must decrease.” It is not about us! It is not about me. It is about Jesus. My whole life will be “increasing” Jesus and “decreasing” me…if I am truly seeking to be his disciple. HE>I!