Look and Live!
- John 3:14 (KJV)
- John 3:15 (KJV)
- John 3:16 (KJV)
- John 3:17 (KJV)
- John 3:18 (KJV)
- John 3:19 (KJV)
- John 3:20 (KJV)
- John 3:21 (KJV)
Verses 14 and 15 refer back to an Old Testament incident that occurred during the journeys of the people of Israel in the wilderness. The story is found in Numbers 21:4-9. What happened was, God directed Moses to take the people of Israel in a roundabout way to get by the kingdom of Edom. And, as it turned out, their journey proved to be very arduous and difficult. So much so, that.. the people began to greatly criticize God and Moses..for taking them that way and they.. accused God of deliberately putting their lives in peril so that they would all die in the wilderness.
Now, if you were a Jew who was in covenant (contractual) relationship with the true and living God at that time … and your contract with him included both.. blessings..and.. curses..(blessings if you loved and obeyed him … and curses if you did not) … it would definitely not be a good idea to rise up against God and accuse him of something that was untrue ... verbally slapping him in the face … which, was exactly what they did. Hence, the curse side of the Covenant of the Law kicked in and God sent fiery serpents among the people of Israel. Shortly thereafter, many were bitten and died. When this began to take place, it didn’t take long for the people of God to recognize the error of their foolish accusations and they immediately began to cry out to God for mercy. Then, the Lord instructed Moses to make an image of one of the fiery serpents..and put it on a pole in the midst of the camp..and the Lord promised that all that had been bitten and who would look upon that image would not die but live.
Num 21:9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
Strange incident, was it not? Yet, we now know that it was pregnant with prophetic significance. For, as we have it here in verse 14, it portended a yet future day when all those who were dying because of the sting of sin … would have something lifted up among them as well … so that all who looked upon it would also not die but live… namely the lifted up Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ … who’s died in our place, taking our penalty upon himself, so that all that anyone would have to do is to look to him and live ... as we have it so clearly set forth to us in the next two verses,
…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jn 3:15-16
Look and live.
In the for what it is worth department, do you know what happened to that bronze serpent that Moses made? Well, those nincompoops made an idol of it until it was destroyed by good King Hezekiah. 2 Kings 18:4 tell us about it:
He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and.. broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.
Verses 17-21 address the human response to the now lifted up Son of God and answers the question as to why so many people choose not to avail themselves of such a great gift from God.
You know, I’m sure that many of the Israelites, back in the day when the fiery serpents were among them, actually.. chose not to take advantage of looking on the brazen serpent..that God provided in the midst of their camp. Can’t you just hear them saying things like, “Oh that’s stupid. How could just looking on a post keep me from dying from this snakebite? Forget it. I’ll do it my way.” Then they died.
And, so it also is today. Nevertheless, the Truth remains lifted up and stands among us ... as is so clearly stated in verses 17-21.
Verse 17-18 … God sent his Son into our world, not to condemn, but to save.
All who believe in the Son are not condemned but all who choose not to believe ... are.
Verse 19-20 … The problem is not with the light that God has sent, but with closed hearts that prefer darkness because their deeds are evil.
Verse 21 … All who are doers of the truth come to the light because their actions spring out of their faith in the Son of God as evidence of God’s work through them.
Created over 1 year ago