Manual That Ye May Marvel or:The Significance of Bible Numbers

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Jesus wants him to take hold of the fact that he does not have it , and must be born again. We should not forget whom Jesus said this to. Nicodemus was a religious leader, a Pharisee, an educated man, and an earnest man. By all outward appearance, he was already transformed unto God — yet he was not. That is just how it is with the birth of the Spirit. Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. How can these things be? Nicodemus was confused. He was so set in his thinking that the new birth has already happened to him and all of faithful Israel, that he had a hard time thinking differently. Jesus had to keep explaining. Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Jesus chided Nicodemus for not being aware of the need and the promise of the new birth, because these were plainly laid out in the Old Testament.

Nicodemus knew these passages well, but believed that they had been fulfilled in regard to the new birth.

He should have known better. Jesus implies that as the outstanding teacher of the nation, Nicodemus should have been familiar with the teaching of the new birth. A simple look at earthly things — like the illustrations Jesus used, and even a look at his own life — should have made the point plain to Nicodemus.

If he could not see that he needed this spiritual transformation, what more could Jesus tell him? And the expression is founded upon this generally received maxim: That to be perfectly acquainted with the concerns of a place, it is necessary for a person to be on the spot. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness : Jesus made a remarkable statement, explaining that the serpent of Numbers was a picture of the Messiah and His work.

Serpents are often used as pictures of evil in the Bible Genesis and Revelation So, a bronze serpent does speak of sin, but of sin judged.

In the same way Jesus, who knew no sin became sin for us on the cross, and our sin was judged in Him. A bronze serpent is a picture of sin judged and dealt with. We would have wanted to diminish our sense of sin, and put the image of a man up on the pole. But a serpent is more apparently sinful, and shows us our true nature and true need of salvation. In addition, if the serpent lay horizontally on the vertical pole, it is easy to see how this also was a visual representation of the cross.

However, many traditions show the serpent being wrapped around the pole, and this is the source for the ancient figure of healing and medicine — a serpent, wrapped around a pole. In the Numbers account, the people were saved not by doing anything, but by simply looking to the bronze serpent. They had to trust that something as seemingly foolish as looking at such a thing would be sufficient to save them, and surely, some perished because they thought it too foolish to do such a thing. As it says in Isaiah Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

We might be willing to do a hundred things to earn our salvation, but God commands us to only trust in Him — to look to Him. Even so must the Son of Man be lifted up : E ven though Jesus bore our sins, He never became a sinner.

What Does the Number 3 Mean in the Bible?

Even His becoming sin for us was a holy, righteous, act of love. Jesus remained the Holy One throughout the entire ordeal of the cross.

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Both meanings are in view, His suffering and exaltation. Jesus was lifted up in both ways. The Son of Man is to be lifted up.


He was to be conspicuous, but as the brazen serpent had been conspicuous, hanging on a pole for the healing of the people. Should not perish but have eternal life : The idea behind eternal life means much more than a long or never ending life. Eternal life does not mean that this life goes on forever. It is the kind of life enjoyed in eternity.

Belief consists of accepting something, not doing something. For God so loved the world : John has long been celebrated as a powerful, succinct, declaration of the gospel. Of the 31, verses in the Bible, it may be the most popular single verse used in evangelism. God did not wait for the world to turn to Him before He loved the world.

He loved and gave His only begotten Son to the world when it was still the world! What Jesus told Nicodemus in John You must be born again refuted the popular Jewish idea regarding the way to salvation. Now Jesus refuted the popular Jewish idea regarding the scope of salvation: for God so loved the world. The Jews of that day rarely thought that God loved the world. Many of them thought that God only loved Israel.

The universal offer of salvation and life in Jesus was revolutionary. Morrison suggested that there are three centers of love:. God did something about it, and He gave the most precious thing to give: His only begotten Son. God loves the world, but the world does not receive or benefit from that love until it believes in Jesus, the gift that the Father gave.


Believes in means much more than intellectual awareness or agreement. It means to trust in , to rely on , and to cling to. God looks at fallen humanity, does not want it to perish , and so in His love He extends the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. He will never stop loving His people, even unto the furthest distance of eternity.

The love of God is limitless; it embraces all mankind. No sacrifice was too great to bring its unmeasured intensity home to men and women: the best that God had to give, he gave — his only Son, his well-beloved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world : Jesus revealed the heart of God the Father in sending God the Son; to bring salvation — rescue, hope, healing — to the world through Him. But the purpose of His coming was not this. He who does not believe is condemned already : John is the most gracious, wonderful offer conceivable — eternal life for all who believe.

Yet the offer has inherent consequences, for any who reject, who refuse to believe. Their refusal makes their condemnation certain. Here, the focus seems to be on those who deliberately reject the message , as those who heard and encountered Jesus in the first century had opportunity to do.

Bible Living

As the eternal Word came to men and women before becoming incarnate in Christ, so it is with the light of God. If men and women are judged by their response to the light, they are judged by their response to such light as is available to them. This is the condemnation : Jesus came to bring salvation, but those who reject that salvation condemn themselves.

The responsibility is theirs alone. Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil : Jesus explained what keeps people from faith and rescue in Him. It is because they are drawn to darkness, and love it more than the light. There is a critical moral dimension to unbelief that is often denied or ignored.

Bible Living

Those who consciously reject Jesus often present themselves as heroic characters who bravely put away superstition and deal honestly with deep philosophical problems. It is far more often true that there is a moral compromise at the root of their rejection.

When we think of the love of sin that sends people to hell, we often other think of notorious sin. But the simple demand to be lord of my own life is enough of a sin to deserve condemnation before God.


Whence, then, does their damnation proceed? After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. For John had not yet been thrown into prison. Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea : John continues his account of the life of Jesus with the emphasis on what He did in Judea. The other Gospels focus on the work of Jesus in the Galilee region. He remained with them and baptized : Jesus, together with His disciples, did a work of baptizing apparently similar to the work of John the Baptist.

It made sense for Jesus to also practice the symbol of repentance that John used with such great effect. This may be because it happened in several places in the general area. John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim : There is some dispute as to the exact location of this place. The best evidence is that it was a place some seven miles 12 kilometers south of modern Bethshan. Two sites are possible: one south of Bethshan, where there were numerous springs; another, a short distance from Shechem.

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