Teaching Through Illustrations
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Read Numbers 21:1-9
Nicodemus did not understand what the Lord Jesus was talking about, so
the Lord continued to teach him by using an illustration. He used the example
of the serpent Moses lifted up in the wilderness. You can read the
story in Numbers 21:1-9. During their wilderness journey, the Lord delivered
His people from the Canaanites, after which they began to complain
because of the difficulty of their journey. In response, the Lord sent fiery
serpents. The people pleaded for Moses to pray for them. Israel’s leader
was commanded to make a brazen serpent, attach it to a pole and lift it
up so that whoever looked at that serpent would not die; they would be
healed from the snake’s venom.
The Lord Jesus used that event to instruct Nicodemus. As a teacher in Israel,
he would have known that history. But then the Lord Jesus applied it
to Himself; that serpent in the wilderness was an illustration of what He
would do. In the near future, the Lord Jesus would be lifted up as the Son
of man. He would be suspended above the earth upon a wooden cross. Every
sinner who looks to Him in faith will not die from their deadly disease
of sin, but will receive eternal life. The only thing necessary in the wilderness
was for Old Testament Israel to look to the brazen serpent. What
important action is necessary for us today? Look to the crucified Saviour;
there lies your deliverance!
Thought: Would it not be wise to look to the Lord Jesus the Saviour?
Psalter 386:1,3,7 (based on Psalm 141)
O Lord, make haste to hear my cry, To Thee I call, on Thee rely;
Incline to me a gracious ear, And, when I call, in mercy hear.
When unto Thee I look and pray With lifted hands at close of day,
Then as the evening sacrifice Let my request accepted rise.
Brought nigh to death and sore distressed, O Lord, my God, in Thee I rest;
Forsake me not, I look to Thee, Let me Thy great salvation see.