RAP SHEET 4/3/22
Sermon: Blood vs. Water
Scripture: John 3:4-8
ICE BREAKER: Do you have any non-relative friends who are so close they feel like family? If so, who?
This week we continued building out the context of John chapter 3. In week 1, we learned that we MUST BE BORN AGAIN. That was a tough pill for Nicodemus to swallow. As a Jewish Pharisee, he believed that you are born, live, and then you die. It is your first birth - not a REBIRTH - that determines whether or not you get to God's Kingdom.
To a Jewish person at that time - you were either born an Israelite or not. You either hit the genetic lottery, or you were in trouble. You were either one of the Chosen few or a Pagan on your way to Hell!
It was this kind of thinking that had stoked such a nationalistic reading of the Jewish Prophecies concerning the Messiah. Of course, he was going to be a military leader. Of course, he was going to defeat Rome. Of course the Messiah was going to line up perfectly to the people’s agendas.
To the Jewish mind, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Israel had very little difference. One was temporal, on earth - and the other was eternal. But FROM THE BEGINNING, God had a much different plan. And the people of that day were missing it…
Have you ever spent time outside of the church feeling like you were NOT one of the "chosen" ones?
Did you grow up IN churches that felt like they WERE the chosen ones and everyone else should be kept at arms length?
Israel had forgotten that it's purpose was to be the conduit that God would use to bring hope and salvation to ALL people in ALL places. Jesus came as the Messiah to do just that - not to build Israel's Kingdom, but God's Kingdom!
To help Nicodemus understand this truth, Jesus told him he must be born of both WATER and SPIRIT. Water represented his genealogy as an Israelite and the legacy of Israel's deliverance from Egypt through the Water's of the Red Sea. However, His Genealogy and Legacy were not enough to ensure his spot in God's Kingdom - he also needed to be born again SPIRITUALLY.
What Jesus taught Nicodemus turned "Blood is Thicker than Water" on its head. The truth is The Blood of the Covenant - that is, the new promise offered through faith in Jesus' sacrifice - is stronger than the Water of the Womb.
John 3 shows us that God loved the WHOLE WORLD and gave his Son Jesus for Every single person! All he asks of us, is to put our faith in Jesus. When we do that, we are made Children of God and brought into his Kingdom.
We celebrated this fact with the taking of Communion - a reminder of what Jesus did for us all those years ago. What Jesus taught Nicodemus in John 3 changed the world forever and brought us into the movement of God.
As you reflect on this unbelievable truth, what does it make you feel or think?
How would your life be different if you lived with a constant awareness that you are a part of God's family and Kingdom?
What is one way you will let these truths affect your life this week?
(Remember, this is where we get vulnerable and commit to real application. Let your Life Team in on what you are thinking and feeling. Allow yourself to be held accountable in your pursuit of the life God has called you to live.)
Spend some time thanking God for his matchless plan to bring hope to the world. Ask the Holy Spirit to search you for any spiritual pride so we don't end up thinking we are "THE CHOSEN" at the expense of those God has called us to reach.