“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. -John 3:11-15 NRSV
What must it have like for God to visit earth and have spiritual leaders categorically reject him and his message. He wanted to speak to them about heavenly things and they closed their ears to earthly things. I think that it broke his heart. One like Nicodemus, one called to help and teach the poor, seems utterly clueless about matters like love, forgiveness and mercy. Easy to understand why Jesus was so frustrated with the religious establishment of his day.
Interesting how this passage does not speak of believing in the Father but of believing in Jesus. One can only conclude from this that Jesus believed that he was God in human form. Like the bronze serpent that Moses lifted up, one need only embrace the cross of Christ to be whole. Unlike the serpent, one does not have to actually see the cross but embrace the one who offers forgiveness as he hangs on it. The bronze serpent was a foreshadow ot the cross that Jesus hung on.
Open our hearts Lord that we might receive your testimony about matters of earth and heaven.
... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.