I had planned on reading John and Acts today, but as I was reading through John, I couldn’t get past the end of chapter three. It was like the Lord prompting me to tarry over this part of Scripture. Here’s the section He highlighted:
He who comes from above is above all, and he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who come from heaven is above all. What He has seen and heard, of that He bears witness; and no man receives His witness. He who has received His witness has set his seal to this, that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:31-36, NASB).
Join me and let’s take a look at this more closely.
“He who comes from above is above all.” When I thought about this, I was reminded of another passage of Scripture: “To whom will you liken Me that I should be his equal” says the Holy One (Isaiah 40:25, NASB). The One who comes from above is truly above all, and there is nothing we can compare to Him. His name is above every name, and every knee will bow to Him one day. Jesus once asked His disciples who people said He was. When we compare what the disciples said with the Isaiah passage, we realize how far off people really were. Jesus isn’t just some prophet or one “spiritual master” among many, as if someone could be like Him. Don’t let anyone tell you there is someone like Jesus. The Holy One is beyond comparison, and no one is His equal.
“He who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth.” We can see how different we are from the One who comes from above here. We are of the earth, created beings who have fallen from a state of perfection. After the Fall, our nature has lost its spiritual characteristics and became natural (also referred to as the flesh), and so we now think and act as those from the earth. Our life resembles the lyrics from a Harry Chapin song:
“My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talking ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you, dad”
“You know I’m gonna be like you.”
(Chapin, 1974, track 1)
We are concerned about the things of the world, and looking for fulfillment, but not finding it on earth. We have lost our ability to hear and receive spiritual things.
“What He has seen and heard, of that He bears witness; and no man receives His witness.” When Jesus told Nicodemus that a person must be born again, he couldn’t understand how that could be. After all, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” (John 3: 4, NASB). Nicodemus couldn’t understand that the children of God are not born according to the flesh, but according to the will of God. He couldn’t receive what Jesus was saying. Now you can see why after Jesus would speak to the people, He would say “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Not everyone can receive what He says.
“He who has received His witness has set his seal to this, that God is true.” When I read this, I felt led to look up the definition of seal. The definition that stood out to me was this: “Something that confirms, ratifies, or makes secure: Guarantee, assurance” (Seal def). The one who receives Jesus’ witness has confirmed, ratified, or made secure the fact that God is true! This is good, but it leads to a conundrum. If we cannot receive the things of God in our natural nature, then we will not understand how we have sinned against God, and we will not be able to come to a place of repentance. It would seem we are lost were it not for this one fact: He is the God of the impossible!
“For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.” In our natural self, we cannot receive the things of God as Paul reminds us in 1 Cor 2:14, but God has given all things into Jesus’ hands, and He has all authority. When God gives the Spirit without measure, it means Jesus’ has been given limitless power to reach the heart of the lost. His arm is not shortened that it cannot save! He intervenes in His great power and makes it possible for that lost soul to receive His word so they can repent. Without that intervention, it would be impossible for us to be saved. In conclusion:
“The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
If you have not done so yet, please come to the Lord Jesus and receive mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Jesus has used the limitless power of heaven to bring you to a place of repentance. If you will confess your sin, He is faithful and just to forgive all your sin; He will abundantly pardon and make you into a new creation! Come and see that the Lord is good!
Sivan 20, 5778
Chapin, H. (1974). The cat’s in the cradle. On Verities and Balderdash. Elektra
Seal. (2018). In Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.meriam-webster.com/dictionary/seal