blurred lights
advent text

Jesus: Our Everlasting


Week Four: Love

Sunday, December 24 | by Dr. Adam C. Wright

We have come to the final week of Advent, a week in which we reflect on the love we have from the Father through the gift of His Son.

As I think through the concept of God's love, my mind is drawn to a unique encounter we see in the book of John, between a religious leader named Nicodemus and Jesus.

Nicodemus is seemingly a good man. He has devoted his life to serving God by teaching others the law. In fact, he's so well respected among the people that he has received an appointment to the Jewish ruling council. If we were to see Nicodemus today, we would think to ourselves, there goes a rabbi who knows all the answers, yet he didn't. John tells us, beginning in chapter three, that Nicodemus comes to visit Jesus at night. I love how John sets up the story. On one hand, it is clear that Nicodemus doesn't want others to know about this encounter. After all, Jesus has just cleared the temple and was causing others to question: who is this upstart rebel? So Nicodemus comes when a few people are out and about so that he isn't discovered. But perhaps John includes this phrase for another reason. Nicodemus comes at night. In other words, he is in the dark. Nicodemus really doesn't know what's going on with Jesus.

Think about it.

The man who knows it all is stumped. He can't put the pieces together with all these miracles and teachings and everything surrounding Jesus. Recognizing this state of mind, Nicodemus steps out of his comfort zone and seeks answers from the only one who really does know it all. So he comes to Jesus, and he asks how all of this is possible.

Can you imagine the look on Jesus' face when Nicodemus asked that question?

For me, I see a smile come across His face, and His eyes light up a bit. And then, He begins to shed light on Nicodemus’s life by revealing to him the kingdom of God. And in verse 16 of chapter three, we have the famous words "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."

Those words shared with Nicodemus, back in the first century Palestine, ring true for us today. "God so loved." What amazing news. Throughout the Advent season, we have discovered hope through the promises God gave to His people through the years. We then thought about the peace that can only come through God and His Son. And this past week, we have basked in the joy that we can experience when we encounter God. Yet none of the hope, peace, or joy would be possible without love.

Love is the driving factor that led God to give us His Son. Love drove Jesus to spend His life caring for the poor, healing the hurting, and proclaiming light to the captives. Love propelled Jesus to the cross so that through His death, our sins can be forgiven, and we can inherit everlasting life, and love reenergized a dead and decaying body to see Jesus rise again on the third day.

As we close out our Advent season, and prepare our hearts for Christmas, I have a simple question to ask.

Are you living in the reality of God's love? Perhaps, like Nicodemus, you thought you knew all the answers, but there's something missing. You're in the dark, and you just need some light. Because of God's love for you, light has come. You just need to embrace it. You can celebrate new life this Christmas by confessing Jesus as your Lord and giving your life to serve the light of the world. Or maybe you know Jesus, but the love has just dimmed a bit.

Go back to Jesus to ask Him to reignite love in your life, love for Him, and love for others. You see, what's amazing about the love of God is that it doesn't just end with us. We aren't a reservoir of love that just collects it all for God to keep it for ourselves. God gives us His love so that we can, in turn, love and serve others.

Are you doing that? Are you allowing God's love to shine through you so that the world can see? The world is in darkness, just as Nicodemus experienced. Yet, it doesn't have to remain in darkness because the light has come.

This Christmas, allow God's love to flow so that they can see your light, shine, and in turn, glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Dr. Adam C. Wright serves as the President of Dallas Baptist University.

Previous Article