Every single person I saw walking into the church Sunday had one thing in common. They trusted the church. They walked right through the door, right into the building, into the sanctuary, and never took any precaution to make sure that it would be safe. No one cautiously checked out the stability of the floor, no one looked cautiously up at the roof, no one peered around the corners for any sort of danger, no one. We just walked in. Myself included. We just walked right in. We trusted this building, even though we’ve seen the news stories of sinkholes, and tornadoes Reducing buildings to nothing. We trusted this building, having no idea it’s condition, or ever seeing the architectural plans. We trusted this building, these walls, this floor with our lives and we have seen others to the same and not get the expected results.
Along the same lines, we trust our cars with all we know about road safety, we trust our schools, shopping centers, and movie theatres despite tragic news to the contrary. We trust our friends and family members with the most vulnerable pieces of ourselves even though we’ve seen those crumble. We trust our jobs to provide even though we know we could be one wrong move from losing it all. The truth is that we live in a world where anything and everything has been affected by the sin of the world and anything and everything has some capacity to fail us.
Our text this morning is the very familiar John 3 chapter, containing the very very familiar John 3:16 verse. Now this verse is absolutely everywhere. It is annually one of the top Google searches. If you do Google it, you will find references to Keith Urban, and Tim Tebow. You will find clothing chain Forever 21, which prints it on their bags. You’ll find In and Out burger, which puts it on their cups. This verse has been translated into 2100 languages and counting. It is the most translated piece of language in the history of the world and nothing comes close.
Jesus, as the Son of God, knew that these words would echo through eternity. He knew these words he was speaking would be something that would reach remote areas of the world, and stand forever. He knew he was speaking a sentence for the very first time that Christians would memorize by the thousands to give them comfort, direction, hope, and understanding. This sentence could heal wounds and bring peace, alter empires and histories. Here we have before us this morning the very first time that this amazing sentence was spoken and we get to see how. This verse holds in it’s beautiful text, the only thing in this whole world that will never ever fail us- the love of God displayed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and it’s promise to forgive us our sins and lead us to everlasting life with him.
In a world where anything and everything can and could fail us. These words need to reach the masses. These words need to be broadcast. So when we look into our text to see how Jesus delivers this sentence that is more solid than the cornerstone of this building, this country, or anything else in the whole world. We see him alone at night speaking to one man who was scared. One man. At night. The sentence that can rip through eternity is it wasted? Is it disposed of like everything else in the world?
If I was advising Jesus in this moment, I would have thought he would want to be careful to deliver this sentence in a sermon at the temple or in the sermon on the mount, or screamed it at trial, or on the cross. Or would suggest getting the disciples together and carving it into the side of the temple. So why does Jesus deliver this sentence of sentences, this stability of stabilities to Nicodemus alone at night?
Because Nicodemus was scared. Nicodemus was a leader in the temple who had been seeing his faith in the law crumble. He had heard Jesus speak and he wanted to know more. He was empty and craving the peace and fulfillment that only Jesus can offer. And Jesus delivered.
So when we’re Nicodemus, when we are scared, or alone, or feeling guilty or defeated, or when the whole world has turned it’s back on us, and the floor itself, and the walls are literally caving in. Jesus won’t. As Jesus told Nicodemus that he was bringing light into the world, Jesus brings light into your life. As Jesus proves with Nicodemus, one man, one person, was important enough for the first delivery of John 3:16. In the same way, you are uniquely special, important, and loved by the Savior of the world, who even in the midst of our lives caving in speaks to us, “Since God so loved you that He gave His one and only Son, that since you believe in him you shall not perish but have eternal life.”