John 3:14
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
Sermons
Christ's MustsAlexander MaclarenJohn 3:14
A Beautiful LegendD. Curry, D. D.John 3:14-15
An Emblem of SalvationJ.R. Thomson John 3:14, 15
Christ ExaltedJohn 3:14-15
Heaven is EverlastingBiblical MuseumJohn 3:14-15
Jesus Lifted UpD. L. Moody.John 3:14-15
Joy Comes by Looking unto JesusPilgrim's ProgressJohn 3:14-15
Looking and Finding RestC. H. Spurgeon.John 3:14-15
Looking and TrustingD. L. Moody.John 3:14-15
Looking At ChristJohn 3:14-15
Looking Brings LifeJ. Trapp.John 3:14-15
Regeneration: its Objective CauseA. J. Parry.John 3:14-15
Saved by a Sight of ChristD. Newton.John 3:14-15
Sin and Salvation Through ChristJohn 3:14-15
The Agony of SinW. M. H. Aitken.John 3:14-15
The Brazen SerpentA. Maclaren, D. D.John 3:14-15
The Brazen SerpentJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.John 3:14-15
The Brazen SerpentW. H. M. H. Aitken, M. A.John 3:14-15
The Brazen SerpentJ. James.John 3:14-15
The Brazen SerpentT. Guthrie, D. D.John 3:14-15
The Brazen SerpentT. Gibson, M. A.John 3:14-15
The Brazen SerpentD. Moore, M. A.John 3:14-15
The Brazen SerpentS. Sutton.John 3:14-15
The Lifting Up of the Brazen SerpentC. H. Spurgeon.John 3:14-15
The Lifting Up of the Son of ManD. Young John 3:14, 15
The Mysteries of the Brazen SerpentC. H. Spurgeon.John 3:14-15
The Scene Referred ToA. Wilson, B. A.John 3:14-15
The Serpent Eternal LifeSunday School TimesJohn 3:14-15
The SerpentsJohn 3:14-15
The Serpent's BiteC. H. Spurgeon.John 3:14-15
Three SimilitudesJ. Dyke.John 3:14-15
We are Saved by Looking to ChristH. W. Beecher.John 3:14-15
We Must Look Away from Ourselvesfor PeaceC. H. Spurgeon.John 3:14-15
WhosoeverJohn 3:14-15
It was Christ's teaching that Moses testified of him. This Moses did by foretelling the advent of a prophet like unto himself, and still more strikingly by the whole system of sacrifice which he perfected, and which the Messiah both fulfilled and superseded. He did so likewise by symbolic acts, thus unconsciously witnessing to Christ and his works. It was natural that our Lord's first mention of Moses should occur in his conversation with a Hebrew rabbi, an inquirer, and a sympathizing inquirer into his claims. The incident in Jewish history upon which our Lord grafts great spiritual lessons was one familiar, doubtless, to Nicodemus, but one of which he could never until now have seen the deep spiritual significance.

I. THE SERPENT BITE IS THE EMBLEM OF SIN. For the moral evil is, like the venom of the viper,

(1) diffused in action;

(2) rapid in progress;

(3) painful to experience;

(4) dangerous and deadly in result.

II. THE DEATHS IN THE CAMP OF ISRAEL ARE THE EMBLEMS OF THE SPIRITUAL CONSEQUENCES OF SIN. Scripture consistently represents death, i.e. moral, spiritual death, as the natural and appointed result of subjection to sin. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die;" "The wages of sin is death." If spiritual life is the vigorous exercise, in the way appointed by heavenly wisdom, of the faculties of our intelligent and voluntary nature, spiritual death consists in the deprivation of power, in the cessation or suspension of such activities as are acceptable to God.

III. THE BRAZEN SERPENT IS AN EMBLEM OF THE DIVINE REDEMPTIVE REMEDY.

1. Like the figure placed upon the banner staff, the provision for salvation from spiritual death is due to Divine mercy. Christ is the Gift of God; the power of spiritual healing is Divine power; the ransom paid is appointed and accepted by God.

2. In both there is observable a remarkable connection between the disease and the cure. It was not without significance that the remedy provided in the wilderness bore a resemblance to the disease. Christ too was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, and in a human body endured for us that death which is the penalty of sin.

IV. THE ELEVATION OF THE BRAZEN SERPENT UPON THE POLE WAS AN EMBLEM OF OUR SAVIOUR'S CRUCIFIXION AND EXALTATION. It is observable how early in his ministry Jesus referred to his "lifting up." That he by this language indicated his crucifixion does not admit of question. "When ye have lifted up the Son of man;" "I, if I be lifted up from the earth;" - are instances which show how distinctly Jesus foresaw and foretold his death, and even the manner of it. The consistency is manifest between this elevation of sacrificial death and the subsequent elevation to the throne of eternal glory.

V. THE LOOKING AT THE LIFTED FIGURE OF THE SERPENT IS AN EMBLEM OF FAITH IN CHRIST. There was nothing in the act of gazing which itself contributed to the recovery of those who were bitten. Nor is there anything meritorious in the attitude of the soul that exercises faith in the Saviour. But it is an act which brings the soul into closest relation with the all-gracious Redeemer. Faith is an attitude, an inspiration of the soul, which instrumentally secures salvation. The Divine ordinance is this: "Look and live!"

VI. THE PUBLICATION OF THE NEWS CONCERNING THE SERPENT OF BRASS IS EMBLEMATICAL OF THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL. It was a ministry of benevolence and of blessing which was discharged by those who went through the camp of Israel, heralding deliverance and life. And there are no tidings so honourable to deliver, and so profitable to receive, as the glad tidings of a great Saviour and a great salvation, which it is the office of the Christian preacher to publish to those who are afar off and to those who are near. - T.







As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness.
Nicodemus's confession of faith was substantially that of many amongst us, only he went a bit further. Because he was honest he deserved, and because he was half blind he needed, Christ's instruction for the expanding of his creed. Complete Christianity, according to Christ, involves —(1) A radical change comparable to birth. When Nicodemus staggers at this, our Lord(2) unveils what makes it possible — the Incarnation of the Son of Man who came down from heaven. But a Christianity that stops at the Incarnation is incomplete, so our Lord(3) speaks of the end of incarnation and ground of the possibility of being born again.

I. THE PROFOUND PARADOXICAL PARALLEL BETWEEN THE IMAGE OF THE POISONER AND THE LIVING HEALER. The correspondence between the lifting up of the serpent and the lifting up of Christ, the look of the half-dead Israelite and the look of faith, the healing in both cases, are clear; and with these it would be strange were there no correspondence between the two subjects. We admit that Jesus Christ has come in the likeness of the victims of the poison, "made in the likeness of sinful flesh," without sin; but in a very profound sense He stood also as representative of the cause of the evil. "God hath made Him to be sin for us," etc. And the brazen image in the likeness of the poisonous creature, and yet with no poison in it, reminds us that on Christ were heaped the evils that tempt humanity. And Paul, speaking of the consequences of Christ's death, says that "He spoiled principalities and powers, and made a show of them openly" — hanging them up there — "triumphing over them in it." Just as that brazen image was hung up as a proof that the venomous power of living serpents was overcome, so in the death of Christ sin is crucified and death done to death.

II. THE SHADOW OF THE CROSS.

1. The serpent was lifted for conspicuousness; and Nicodemus must have understood, although vaguely, that this Son of Man was to be presented not to a handful of people in an obscure corner, but to the whole world, as the Healer.

2. But Christ's prescient eye and foreboding heart travelled, onwards to the cross. This is proved from the two other occasions, when He used the same expression.

3. So from the beginning Christ's programme was death. He did not begin as most teachers, full of enthusiastic dreams, and then, as the illusions disappeared, face the facts of rejection and death.

4. Notice, too, the place in Christ's work which the cross assumed to Him. There have been many answering to Nicodemus's conception — teachers, examples, righteous men, reformers; but all these have worked by their lives: "this Man comes to work by His death. He came to heal, and you will not get the poison out of men by exhortations, philosophies, moralities, social reforms. Poison cannot be treated by surface applications, but by the cross.

5. The Divine necessity which Christ accepts — "must." This was often on His lips. Why?(1) Because His whole life was one long act of obedience to the Divine Will.(2) Because His whole life was one long act of compassion for His brethren.

III. THE LOOK OF FAITH. The dying Israelite had to look. Suppose he had looked unbelieving, carelessly, scoffingly, there would have been no healing. The look was required as the expression of(1) the consciousness of burning death;(2) the confidence that it could be taken away because God had said so.(3) The conviction of the hopelessness of cure in any other way.

IV. THE PROMISE OF HEALING.

1. In the one ease of the body, in the other case of the soul.

2. The gift of life — something bestowed, not evolved.

3. This eternal life is present, and by its power arrests the process of poisoning, and heals the whole nature.

4. It is available for the most desperate cases. Christianity knows nothing of hopeless men.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The difference between the Gospels and the Epistles is that between seed and flower. Christ gave men the seeds of truth, and left inspired apostles to develop them. Paul has been charged with inventing the doctrine of the atonement, but it is in this verse in germ. Notice here three analogies —

I. IN THE DISEASE. The poison of the fiery serpents was fermenting in the Israelites; that of sin is fermenting in us.

1. Men are sinners: a trite observation, but Paul devoted three chapters in Romans to prove it. Our very righteousness is as filthy rags, and you may endeavour by moral improvements to wash them, but you can no more wash them clean than an Ethiop can his left hand by rubbing it with his right.

2. We are all sinners. There is no difference. Irrational animals come short of the glory of God; but men "fall short." The idea of a fall underlies all human history: hence culpability. Some men have fallen more deeply, but there is no difference in the fact.

3. All are under sentence of death. "Guilty before God," subject to penalty — death. The wages never fall below that.

4. Not only so, but we are polluted, morally sick. What brought death upon us wrought it in us. The venom of the serpents would assuredly terminate in death, in spite of all self or other help. We all sinned in Adam, but Adam continues to sin in us. Sickness is contagious, health never. The Jew transmitted his depravity, not his circumcision: you impart your sin to your posterity, not your holiness. Each has to be regenerated anew.

II. IN THE REMEDY.

1. Our salvation comes through man. The Israelites were bitten by serpents, and by a serpent they were to be healed. By man came sin; by man comes salvation.

2. Not only by man, but the Son of Man, one who in the core of His being is closely united to every other man. According to the ancient law, the Goel or nearest relative alone had the right to redeem. Christ is the nearest relative any man can have.

3. The Son of Man lifted up. The tendency is to make the Incarnation the centre of Christianity: the Bible makes the Cross that. A glorious display of condescending grace was made at Bethlehem; but on Calvary God and man were reconciled. Christ suffered(1) with man in virtue of His keen sympathies;(2) for man, in that He suffered martyrdom rather than forsake the path of duty;(3) instead of man, for He bore the wrath of God.

4. The necessity for our atonement. Not shall, but must. The "must" of ver. 10 indicates the necessity for a radical change in order to salvation; that of our text the necessity of an atonement on the part of God. Sin must be published. God's righteousness must be upheld, and all its demands met.

5. Jesus Christ uplifted is now both physician and remedy to His people. The brazen serpent could only heal our disease: Christ saves to the uttermost(1) degree of perfection,(2) degree of continuation.

III. Is THE APPLICATION OF THE REMEDY FOR THE DISEASE. The Israelites were not bidden to apply poultices, but to look. You are not enjoined to improve yourselves, but to believe.

1. Through faith in Christ the sinner has permission to live. Two words are used in this connection; forgive — give for; remit — set free; corresponding to χαρίζομαι, to show grace, and ἀφίημι, to discharge. These must not be confused. As Broad Church theologians contend every one has been forgiven, but in the first sense. God has "given for" man all that Almighty Love could offer. But men are only forgiven in the second sense when they accept God's pardoning grace.

2. By faith we acquire the right to live — this is justification and more than pardon, permission to live.

3. The power to live — regeneration.Conclusion:

1. In Christ's days faith in everlasting life had become practically extinct.

2. Christ revived it, not simply teaching it, but imparting it.

(J. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.)

I. IT WAS TO BE MADE IN THE LIKENESS OF THAT WHICH WAS DESTROYING THEM. Around are serpents victorious: here the serpent conquered and exhibited as a trophy, and the people who see it live. Around us the powers of darkness and death are victorious, and sinning souls are dead in trespasses and sins. Behold on the cross sin, but sin judged, condemned, executed, held up as a specatcle. "He was made sin," etc.

II. When the wounded Israelite looked on the brazen serpent, he found a PROOF OF GOD'S ABILITY AND A PLEDGE OF GOD'S WILLINGNESS TO SAVE HIM. As we turn to the cross, the old man is crucified that the body of sin might be destroyed.

III. THE NEW LIFE WAS MIRACULOUS IN ITS CHARACTER: it was not by any natural process of improvement or gradual restoration.

IV. How may we APPROPRIATE THE BENEFITS OF CHRIST'S REDEMPTION? Let us take a walk round the camp.

1. In one tent is a man who declines to look because he has tried every remedy that science can provide, and who says, "How can I be saved by looking at a mere bit of brass?" and dies because he is too proud to be saved in God's way. And so people plead that they cannot understand the doctrine of the atonement, and seem to regard themselves as under no obligation to trust Him who has made that atonement. Will not a general trust in the mercy of God suffice? But the Israelites were not told to discover the mode of the Divine operation.

2. There is another very far gone who says, "Not for me — too late," and dies. So many now regard their case as hopeless, but Christ came to save the chief of sinners.

3. We meet with another who says, "I am all right, but I had a narrow escape. The serpent didn't bite; it was only a scratch." "But a scratch is fatal; go at once and look." "Oh, no! there's no danger; but if anything should come of it I will act on your suggestion. At present I am in a hurry; I have some business." By and by the poison works. Oh for a look at the serpent now! So many perish now by making light of their danger.

4. Here is a man suffering acute agony, who listens with eagerness but obstinate incredulity. "If God wished to save, He would speak. Besides, the middle of the camp is a long way, and how can healing influence extend so far? Well, to oblige you, I will look; but I don't expect anything will come of it. There; I have looked, and am no better." So, too, many amongst us try a series of experiments. "I'm trying to believe, but I feel no better."

5. We turn aside into a home of sorrow. A broken-hearted mother is bending over her little girl. But lamentation will not arrest the malady. "Mother, your child may live." The mother listens with the incredulity of joy, but the little one cries, "Mother, I want to look at Moses' serpent." Instantly the mother's arms are around her, and the child is borne to the door. She lifts her deep blue eyes, while the mother, in an agony of hope and fear, stands waiting. "Mother I I am healed." There is life for a look at the crucified One. Look and live.

(W. H. M. H. Aitken, M. A.)

I. An HISTORICAL FACT DIVINELY ACKNOWLEDGED (Numbers 21:4-9). Christ's entire belief in the Old Testament Scriptures.

II. AN INTIMATE CONNECTION CLEARLY REVEALED.

1. Each divinely appointed.

2. Each met a terrible necessity.

3. Benefit in each case secured by faith.

III. A GREAT NECESSITY INSISTED UPON. "Must." Without Christ's death none can have life.

IV. A BLESSED PURPOSE CROWNING ALL.

1. A calamity from which we may be delivered.

2. A blessedness to which we may attain.

3. The means of deliverance.

4. The universality of the statement. The only way of mercy and salvation.

(J. James.)

I. THE BANE. Sin under the aspect of the serpent's bite. This symbol has a twofold significance.

1. It glances back to the Old Serpent in Eden; as do also, more or less, that singular phenomenon among so many heathen nations, serpent-worship.

2. The main significance is the light which it throws on sin itself. Its character is spiritual venom; its effects are anguish and death. Those who say, I feel none of those poisonous effects, only prove themselves by that to be the more fatally steeped in sin's sweltering venom; for they bewray the awful state described in Scripture as "past feeling," or having the "conscience seared as with a hot iron."

II. THE ANTIDOTE. Christ uplifted on the Cross and upheld in the gospel as the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. The atonement is the only healing balm. Penances, moralities, and all other substitutes are vain.

1. There is a marked significance in the serpent itself and the very pole. The atonement is as eloquent of sin as it is of salvation. The most awful exhibition of sin ever given was that given on the Cross. Hence our guilt is represented as superscribed thereon — as a handwriting against us legible to the entire universe. In the cross, and on the Crucified, God emphatically "condemned sin."

2. The human race have been so infected with the serpent's venom as to be called after the name of their father, "serpents," "scorpions," a "generation of vipers." Now Christ came not in sinful flesh, but in its "likeness." The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all as the representative of humanity. Even as the serpent of brass on the pole was in the likeness of the fiery serpents, but, unlike them, had no venom in it. In this vicarious way was human guilt declared, exposed, condemned.

3. The sin, by being condemned, was "put away." As in the ancient sacrifices the fire symbolically burned up the imputed sin along with the victim, so, on the Cross, the world's sin was put away in Christ's sufferings, considered as a barrier to salvation. This blow to sin was a death-blow to Satan. It was the bruising of the serpent's head (Hebrews 2:14, 15).

III. The MEANS by which the antidote becomes available for the removal of the bane; viz., faith. The wounded Israelites were healed by seeing; the perishing sinner by believing. Notice here in Its proper place the significance of the pole. It was the chief military standard — not the minor or portable ones that were borne about, but the main standard that stood conspicuous in the most prominent part of the camp, fixed in the ground, and from which floated a flag (Jeremiah 51:27; Isaiah 49:22. See also, Isaiah 13:2; Isaiah 18:3; Isaiah 62:10, 11). These texts amply illustrate the use and meaning of the large banner-poles, with their floating insignia, as the symbol of universality of promulgation, and thence of Divine interposition of world-wide scope. The texts cited, or referred to, though beginning with the ordinary uses of the symbol, soon run it into Gospel moulds; and most fitly, for very ancient predictions had declared that "unto him," the Shiloh, "shall the gathering of the people be" (Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 11:10; John 12:32).

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

I. THERE IS A STRIKING SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE CONDITION OF THE WOUNDED ISRAELITES AND THE STATE OF MAN BY NATURE.

1. Theirs was a degraded condition. Their pain was the result of their transgression.

2. Miserable.

3. Guilty.

4. Helpless.

II. THERE IS A STRIKING RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN THE MEANS EMPLOYED FOR THE RELIEF OF THE WOUNDED ISRAELITES AND THE METHOD OF OUR RECOVERY FROM SIN AND DEATH BY JESUS CHRIST.

1. The brazen serpent in shape exactly resembled the fiery set. pent. So Christ was made in the likeness of sinful flesh.

2. The serpent was lifted up, which is emblematical of —

(1)Christ's crucifixion.

(2)Christ's ascension.

(3)The public exhibition of the Redeemer's Cross in the ministry of reconciliation.

III. THE RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN THE FEELINGS OF THE WOUNDED ISRAELITES AND THOSE OF THE AWAKENED PENITENT IN THE ACTS OF LOOKING AND BELIEVING RESPECTIVELY. They were —

1. Sensible of their calamity.

2. Filled with humility.

IV. THE RESEMBLANCE AS TO THE EFFICACY OF THE REMEDY IN BOTH CASES. In their —

1. Instantaneousness.

2. Efficacy to work in the first or last stages of the disease.

3. Completeness of cure.Learn:

1. That salvation can only be ascribed to the free grace of God.

2. The freedom with which this salvation is bestowed.

3. That gratitude becomes those who have received mercy.

(T. Gibson, M. A.)

I. THE INCIDENT REFERRED TO. This typical event occurred towards the close of the wanderings. The people's discouragements had been. many, and now the king of Edom suffered them not to pass through his border. The Church must lay its account with difficulty and checks and foes. The Christian who turns out of the straight path at the first menace of the Edomite will find more formidable difficulties before he gets to the heavenly Canaan. Now see the form their murmurings took. Aaron and Miriam are dead, and as Moses is not enough to receive all their taunts they "spoke against God." "There is no bread, neither is there any water," and this when they had the best of both; so easily does a fretful spirit turn into bitterness the best gifts of God. There was something of peculiar aggravation in this sin, and the retribution was awful. "Would God we had died in the wilderness!" and the prayer was answered. Now they humble themselves. What powerful teachers are sharp afflictions! Moses prayed for them, and God heard his prayer. To have destroyed the serpents would have been as easy as to command the setting up of the brazen one; but God would give His people a part in their own salvation.

1. Of this event there could be no doubt.

(1)The witnesses were many.

(2)The serpent was preserved as a memorial of it.

2. The serpent had a sacramental character.

3. When this sacramental character encouraged superstition, the serpent was destroyed.

II. THE LESSONS FORESHADOWED.

1. The significant intimation that Christ should die. It was placed on a level with the sacrifices and other symbols which typified the atonement.

2. Salvation does not come to us through Christ's being lifted up merely, but through our looking at Him. In the other miracles everything was done by Moses alone. In this case the symbol had no power but that which the faith of the people gave it. The Cross is not a mechanical chain. We must believe.Conclusion:

1. As the Old Testament and the New are one hook, so the Old Testament way of saving is the same as that of the New.

2. Salvation is the free gift of God received by faith.

(D. Moore, M. A.)

The type and the antitype correspond —

I. IN THE OCCASION OF THEIR INSTITUTION. The Israelites were wounded by the serpents; we are wounded by sin.

II. IN THEIR QUALITIES.

1. The serpent was made of an inferior metal; Christ was a root out of a dry ground.

2. There was only one brazen serpent for the whole Jewish camp; there is only one Mediator between God and man.

3. The serpent was appointed of God; Christ was appointed by the Father.

4. The serpent was publicly lifted up; Christ is uplifted by His ministers.

III. IN THE MANNER IN WHICH THE BENEFIT IS DERIVED.

1. By looking personally.

2. Instantly.

3. Steadily and constantly.

4. Exclusively.

IV. IN THE EFFECTS THEY PRODUCE.

1. The completeness of the cure.

2. Its universality.

(1)Every one may be healed.

(2)The whole of the surviving camp was healed. So all the world will one day be saved by Christ.Conclusion:

1. How simple is the way of salvation.

2. How injurious is unbelief. If we despise this ordinance of God we shall perish.

(S. Sutton.)

All languages are based on figures. When we teach children we employ figures. And so Christ employed figures to teach this spiritual child the things of the kingdom: a better way than by the use of abstract terms.

I. THE PEOPLE IN THE WILDERNESS, the representatives of sinful men.

1. They had stood valiantly in fight, but the serpents were things that trembled not at the sword. They had endured weariness and thirst and hunger, but these were novelties, and new terrors are terrible from their very novelty. If we could see our condition we should feel as Israel when they saw the serpents.

2. Behold the people after they were bitten — the fire coursing through their veins. We cannot say that sin produces instantly such an effect, but it will ultimately. Fiery serpents are nothing to fiery lusts.

3. How awful must have been the death of the serpent! bitten, and how awful the death of the man without Christ.

II. THE BRAZEN SERPENT. The type of Christ crucified; both remedies.

1. A number, perhaps, declared it absurd that a brazen serpent should do what physicians could not. So many despise Christ crucified.

2. Some say the cross will only increase the evil, just as old physicians averred that the sight of anything bright would intensify the effect of the poison. So many make out that salvation by the Cross destroys morality.

3. Much as those who heard of the brazen serpent might have despised it there was no other means of cure. So "there is none other name," etc.

III. WHAT WAS TO BE DONE TO THE BRAZEN SERPENT? It was to be lifted up — so was Christ.

1. By wicked men.

2. By God the Father.

3. By ministers. Let them so preach Him that He may be seen.

IV. WHAT WERE ISRAEL TO DO? To look; the convinced sinner is to believe.

1. There were, perhaps, some who would not look, and some will not come to Christ for life: perhaps —

(1)Through unbelief.

(2)Through insufficient conviction.

(3)Through procrastination.

(4)Through belief in other means.

(5)Through looking too much at their sores, and seeming incurability.

2. Those who would be saved must look.

(1)Whosoever.

(2)Look now.

V. ENCOURAGEMENT.

1. Christ was lifted up on purpose for you to look at.

2. He invites you to believe.

3. He promises to save.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE PERSON IN MORTAL PERIL for whom the brazen serpent was made.

1. The fiery serpents came among the people because they had despised God's way and God's bread (Numbers 21.). The natural consequence of turning against God like serpents is to find serpents waylaying our path.

2. Those for whom the brazen serpent was uplifted had been actually bitten by the serpents. The common notion is that salvation is for good people, but God's medicine is for the guilty.

3. The bite of the serpent was painful. So many by sin are restless, discontented, and fearful. Jesus died for such as are at their wits' end.

4. The bite was mortal. There could be no question about that — nor about the effects of sin.

5. There is no limit set to the stage of poisoning: however far gone, the remedy still had power. So the gospel promise has no qualifying clause.

II. THE REMEDY PROVIDED FOR HIM.

1. It was purely of Divine origin: and God will not devise a failure.

2. Exceedingly instructive. Wonder of wonders that our Lord Jesus should condescend to be symbolized by a dead snake.

3. There was but one remedy for the serpent bite: there was only one brazen serpent, not two. If a second had been made it would have had no effect.

4. It was bright and lustrous, made of shining metal. So if we do but exhibit Jesus in His own true metal He is lustrous in the eyes of men.

5. The remedy was enduring. So Jesus saves to the uttermost.

III. THE APPLICATION OF THE REMEDY.

1. The simplest imaginable. It might, had God so ordered, have been carried into the house, rubbed on the man, and applied with prayers and priestly ceremonies. But he has only to look; and it was wall, for the danger was so frequent.

2. Very personal. A man could not be cured by what others could do for him — physicians, sisters, mothers, ministers.

3. Very instructive — self help must be abandoned and God be trusted.

IV. THE CURE EFFECTED.

1. He was healed at once. He had not to wait five minutes, nor five seconds. Pardon is not a work of time, although sanctification is.

2. The remedy healed again and again. The healed Israelites were in danger. The safest thing is not to take our eye off the brazen serpent at all.

3. It was of universal efficacy, and no man who looks to Christ remains under condemnation.

V. A LESSON FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THEIR LORD. Imitate Moses. He did not "incense" the brazen serpent, or hide it behind vestments or ceremonies, but raised it on a bare pole that all might see.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE STUNG ISRAELITE AND THE GUILTY SINNER.

1. As the Israelite had death in his bosom, so the sinner (Hebrews 2:14); although the latter sting may not be felt as was the former.

2. The Israelite wanted all means of cure, and had not God appointed the serpent he had perished. As helpless is the sinner till God shows us His Christ.

II. THE BRAZEN SERPENT AND CHRIST.

1. The serpent was accursed of God. Christ was made a curse for us (Galatians 3:13).

2. The brazen serpent had the likeness of the serpent, but not the poison. Christ came in the similitude of sinful flesh without sin.

3. The brazen serpent was uplifted on a pole; Christ on the Cross.

4. As the poison of a serpent was healed by a serpent, so the sin of man by man (Romans 5.; 1 Corinthians 15:21). But Christ had power in Himself to heal us which the other had not.

5. The brazen serpent was not the device of an Israelite, but of God; so no man could have found out such a means of salvation as that established by Christ.

III. THE ISRAELITES LOOKING ON THE SERPENT, AND THE SINNERS BELIEVING IN CHRIST.

1. The Israelite was healed only by looking; so the sinner is justified only by believing.

2. As looking, as well as the rest of the senses, is a passion rather than an action; so in justification thou art a patient rather than an agent: thou boldest thy beggar's hands to receive, that is all.

3. The Israelites before they looked up to the brazen serpent for help —

(1)Felt themselves stung;

(2)Believed that God would heal them by that serpent.So the sinner must —

(1)Feel himself a sinner, be burdened and heavy laden (Matthew 2:28), before he will or can come to Christ. A man that feels not himself sick, seeks not the physician;

(2)He must believe that in Christ there is all-sufficient help.

4. The stung Israelite looked on the serpent with a pitiful, humble, craving, wishly eye, weeping also for the very pain of the sting: with such an eye doth the believing sinner look on Christ crucified (Zechariah 12:10).

5. The Israelite by looking on the brazen serpent received ease presently, and was rid of the poison of the living serpent, and so therein was made, like the brazen serpent, void of all poison. So the believer, by looking on Christ, is eased of his guilty accusing conscience (Romans 5:11, and is transformed into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).

6. Even the squint-eyed or purblind Israelite was healed; so the weak believer, being a true believer, is healed by Christ.

7. Though the Israelite were stung never so often, yet if he looked up to the serpent he was healed. As we are daily stung by sin, so we must daily look up to Christ crucified. Every new sin must have a fresh act of faith and repentance.Yet there are two differences betwixt their looking on the serpent and our looking by faith on Christ.

1. By looking they lived, but yet so that after they died; but here, by believing in Christ, we gain an eternal life.

2. They looked on the serpent, but the serpent could not look on them; but here, as thou lookest on Christ, so He on thee, as once on Peter, and on Mary and John from the Cross, and thy comfort must rather be in Christ's looking on thee, than in thy looking on Him.

(J. Dyke.)

I. SIN. This was the occasion, with its consequent misery, of the setting up of the brazen serpent; so the occasion of Christ's coming was man's being bitten by the old serpent (Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 11:3). Among the Israelites few were stung, here all; there their bodies, here the soul; there temporal death followed, here eternal.

1. The sting is painful, although not always. It is a great part of our misery not to know our misery. Yet Satan's darts are often painful (Ephesians 6:16). Sin in life will make hell in conscience (Proverbs 18:14; Job 6:4; 1 Corinthians 15:56).

2. The sting is deadly (Romans 5:12; Romans 6:23; Genesis 2:17). Not only death temporal, but spiritual and eternal (Mark 9:44; Proverbs 8:36).

II. CHRIST SET FORTH BY THE BRAZEN SERPENT.

1. The resemblance between the two.(1) Both were remedies devised by God's mercy and love (ver. 16). We neither plotted nor asked it. The Israelites did ask through Moses; but in our case God, the offended party, makes the first motion (1 John 4:19).(2) Christ's humiliation set forth.

(a)A serpent was chosen to show that He came in a mean estate (Psalm 22:6; Isaiah 53:3; Mark 9:12);

(b)because the serpent was cursed of God (Genesis 3:14).

(c)The serpent was made of brass, not of gold.(3) The serpent had the form, but not the poison. So Christ (Hebrews 4:15).

(a)God would cure a serpent's bite by a serpent (Romans 8:3).

(b)The parties to be cured were men; therefore the Son of Man must be lifted up.(4) The place where the brazen serpent was uplifted was Punon (Numbers 33:42, 43), for from Punon they came to Oboth (Numbers 21:10). This was in Idumaea, famous for mines of brass or copper — known among the ancients as "the metal of Punon." Eusebius ("Eccl. Hist.," bk. 8.) tells us that Sylvanus and thirty-nine more were beheaded for the faith's sake near the mines of brass in Punon; and , , and speak of Christians condemned to work in these mines. So that the brass out of which the serpent was made was found in the place where they were bitten. That body which Christ assumed was not brought from elsewhere. Where the mischief was the remedy was at hand.(5) The brazen serpent was lifted up on a pole. So Christ on the Cross (1 Peter 2:24). The serpent first stung us by the fruit of a tree, and Christ saved us by suffering on one.

2. The super-excellency of Christ to the type. The brazen serpent —(1) Was but a sign of salvation (Wisd. 16:6), but Christ is the author of it (Hebrews 5:9).(2) Benefited the Israelites only, but Christ all nations (Isaiah 11:10).(3) Freed them from present death only, Christ from eternal death (John 11:26).(4) Became a means of idolatry (2 Kings 18:4), whereas Christ is to be equally honoured with the Father (John 5:23; Hebrews 1:6; Philippians 2:9, 10).(5) Was broken in pieces; but they shall be broken in pieces who deny Christ (Psalm 2:9; Daniel 2:44; Luke 19:27).

III. FAITH THE MEANS OF BENEFITING BY CHRIST.

1. The necessity of faith. None had benefit but such as looked (Numbers 21:8).

2. The encouragement of faith —(1) To broken-hearted sinners. If you are stung by sin, look to Christ. A felt sense of sin is warrant enough. The Israelites cried out, "Oh! what shall we do?" So Acts 2:37; Acts 16:29, 30.(2) To lapsed believers. God did not take away the serpents, only He gave a remedy. Sin is not abolished, but 1 John 2:1.

3. The nature of faith, which is a looking unto Christ. The act of faith is expressed by seeing or looking (Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 17:7; John 6:40; Hebrews 11:1, 27; Hebrews 12:2). Faith itself is said to be the eye of the soul (Ephesians 1:18; Galatians 3:1), and its hindrance blindness (2 Corinthians 4:4).(1) The objects proper to faith are things that lie out of the view of sense (John 20:29).(2) What kind of sight faith is.

(a)Serious; not a glance, but a fixed eye.

(b)Applicative (Job 5:27; John 20:28).

(c)Affectionate, with desire and trust (2 Chronicles 20:12; Psalm 121:1; 1 Peter 1:7; Isaiah 17:7; Psalm 123:2; Psalm 34:5).

(d)Engaging (Philippians 2:8; Ephesians 1:17).The saving sight: — Two great historical facts — the uplifted serpent and the uplifted Saviour. Infinite is the difference between them in point of dignity and momentousness. The one had a narrow circle of a few thousands for its witnesses, and the desert for its theatre; the other a universe. From the one came body-healing, soon to be interrupted by death; from the other flows soul-healing unto life everlasting. But the one sheds much light on the other. Compare them —

I. IN THE DESPERATE NATURE OF THE MALADY.

1. What could he more fatal or terrible than this judgment?

2. Like the camp of Israel, this is a world of dying men.

II. IN THE SURPRISING CHARACTER OF THE DIVINELY-PROVIDED REMEDY.

1. God alone could stay the judgment. All the virtue of the serpent of brass lay in the fact that it was appointed by God expressly for a sign of His merciful interposition.

2. Both were lifted up.

III. IN THE APPLICATION OF THE DIVINELY-APPOINTED REMEDY AND THE CERTAINTY AND INSTANTANEOUSNESS OF THE CURE.

(A. Wilson, B. A.)

In speaking about the subjective work of Christianity Christ mentions only the initiatory acts in the new birth. In speaking of its objective work He introduces us to the central act. Around this very fact objective Christianity clusters.

I. THE LIFTING UP OF THE SON OF MAN. Our Lord dealt much in illustrations. In this chapter He borrows one from human life — birth; one from nature — wind; and now one from the Scriptures, showing how rich the historical events of the Old Testament were in types and symbols. This illustration is intended to set forth —

1. The great fact that Christ was to be a healing medium.

2. The symbol of the devil is made the symbol of his Destroyer in the very act of bruising his head.

3. The virtue by which He should become the healing medium (John 12:32, 33).

4. Christ's moral as well as physical exaltation (see John 13:31, 32) glorifying both Himself and His Father.

5. Christ's transcendent greatness of mind, enabling Him to take cognizance only of the glory, and not of the degradation, of His suffering.

6. His "lifting up" by many tongues made eloquent by a love kindled from Calvary.

II. THIS GREAT TRANSACTION HAD FOR ITS OBJECT THE SALVATION OF MEN.

1. This salvation is negative and positive — meeting the twofold nature of sin, which is —

(1)Positive — entailing misery;

(2)punitive — depriving of positive blessedness. Christ delivers from the first — "shall not perish" and restores the second — "eternal life."

2. This perishing is not annihilation, but a deprivation of vital relation to God; eternal life is a restoration of this relation.

3. These effects are the results of Christ's "lifting up," and connect the objective transaction with the subjective effects, and goes back to the matter of the new birth, which is organically connected with eternal life.

III. THE DIVINE LOVE, AS AN IMPELLING MOTIVE, WAS EQUAL TO THIS (ver. 6). Here, then, are five links in the wondrous chain.

(1)Men are delivered from the perdition of sin, and restored to the Divine life.

(2)This is secured by the lifting up of the Son of Man.

(3)But this Son of Man is the only-begotten Son of God.

(4)This only-begotten Son was made incarnate, that He might be lifted up.

(5)This required some mighty motive.It is implied —

1. That the objects were so unworthy, that the method of redeeming them required so much humiliation and sacrifice, that the motive could only be found in the infinite love of God.

2. That this love is not to be described by word, but by action. "God so loved." Here are two loves contending — God's complacent love for His Son and His love of commiseration for the world.

IV. THAT GOD'S OBJECT IN ALL THIS IS BENEVOLENT (ver. 17). The declaration that Christ's object was to save men, given in vers. 15 and 16, is here emphasized. It was His sole object.

1. This is an important reminder to all engaged in promulgating the kingdom, of the spirit which should actuate them (Luke 9:55, 56).

2. An invitation of men's confidence in the gracious intentions of God (Isaiah 55:8, 9).

(A. J. Parry.)

Not long ago I saw a picture of this by Guido. In the foreground strong men were writhing in the death agony; some are pallid in death; some hopelessly lifting eyes, bloodshot and ghastly, to the sacred emblem at the right hand of the picture, and already a new life throbs within them; joy flushes the countenance with unexpected hues of health. But in the centre is a mother, despair in her eye, lifting her babe with both hands, that it may gaze on the saving sight. Why does not the child look up? All! it is too far gone; the deadly bite has penetrated to the central springs; it hangs its head; it droops; it will not look; it gives one throe of anguish, and dies in the mother's uplifted hands. Oh! the unutterable pathos of that mother's look! Often, alas! do parents, teachers, pastors, hold up their dear charge, with agonizing solicitude, before the Saving Sight, without saving results. But the fault lies not with God, but with you.

(A. Wilson, B. A.)

What a moment of agony and terror it must have been as all around unfortunate victims were being attacked with these messengers of death. Young and old, rich and poor; for with them there was no respect of persons. On all sides you might see the Israelites writhing in mortal pains. You might hear the mother's agonized screams as the poisonous reptile fastened its fangs in her darling's breast. See that strong man tottering along; he has just been bitten. A moment ago he was in full health and strength, but now the deadly venom is flowing through his veins, and he is a dead man already. In this terrible emergency the people cried unto God, and Moses was instructed to make a serpent of brass and set it on a pole, and whosoever looked on this should live.

(W. M. H. Aitken.)

To this day a mottled snake, with fiery red spots upon its head, abounds at certain seasons in the Arabah. It is the dread of the fishermen, and is peculiarly dangerous to the bare-legged, sandalled Bedouin. So inflammable is its bite, that it is likened to fire coming through the veins; so intense its venom, and so rapid its action, that the bite is fatal in a few hours. The body swells with a fiery eruption; the tongue is consumed with thirst; and the poor wretch writhes in agony till death brings' relief. This horrible pest suddenly appeared in the camp of Israel in prodigious numbers. From crevices in the rocks, from holes in the sand, from beneath the scanty herbage, these fiery-headed snake-demons swarmed into every tent. There was no running away from them, and killing seemed hardly to diminish their numbers. On every side there was a cry of anguish; men, women, children, racked with the fiery torture; none able to save or even to help another. "And much of the children of Israel died" (Numbers 21:6).

Some of you recollect the case of Gurling, one of the keepers of the reptiles in the Zoological Gardens, in October, 1852. This unhappy man was about to part with a friend who was going to Australia, and he must needs drink with him. He went back to his post in an excited state. He had some months before seen an exhibition of snake-charming, and this was on his poor muddled brain. He must emulate the Egyptians, and play with serpents. First he took out of its cage a Morocco venom-snake, put it round his neck, twisted it about, and whirled it round about him. Happily for him it did not arouse itself so as to bite. The assistant-keeper cried out, "For God's sake put back the snake!" but the foolish man replied, "I am inspired." Putting back the venom.snake, he exclaimed, "Now for the cobra." This deadly serpent was some. what torpid with the cold of the previous night, and therefore the rash man placed it in his bosom till it revived, and glided downward till its head appeared below the back of his waistcoat. He took it by the body, about a foot from the head, and then. seized it lower down by the other hand, intending to hold it by the tail and swing it round his head. He held it for an instant opposite to his face, and like a flash of lightning the serpent struck him between the eyes. The blood streamed down his face, and he called for help, but his companion fled in horror. When assistance arrived Gurling was sitting on a chair, having restored the cobra to its place. He said, "I am a dead man." They took him to the hospital. First his speech went, then his vision failed him, and lastly his hearing. His pulse gradually sank, and in one hour from the time at which he had been struck he was a corpse. There was only a little mark upon the bridge of his nose, but the poison spread over the body, and he was a dead man. I tell you that story that you may use it as a parable and learn never to play with sin, and also to bring vividly before you what it is to be bitten by a serpent. Suppose that Curling could have been cured by looking at a piece of brass, would it not have been good news for him? There was no remedy for that poor infatuated creature, but there is a remedy for you.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

is related respecting a scene in the camp of the Israelites at the time of the setting up of the brazen serpent. A woman had been bitten, and was lying in her tent, while the poison was doing its deadly work on her system. It was the day and the hour when the serpent of brass was to be set up in the camp; but such headway had the poison made that it seemed likely that in that case it would prove too late. But the image was at length raised; and the two daughters of the dying woman brought her to the door of the tent, with her face turned towards the image, when apparently swooning in death; the image of the brazen serpent fell upon her eyes, and she was healed.

(D. Curry, D. D.)

Sunday School Times.
It is a noteworthy fact that in many of the ethnic religions the serpent was adored as a symbol of life. Horapollon, explaining (wrongly) a particular Egyptian hieroglyph, remarks that among the ancient Egyptians a serpent with its tail in its mouth was a symbol of eternity. The ordinary word for eternity in Egyptian begins with a figure of a serpent. This ancient symbolism, which leaves its traces also in the classics, may have owed something of its origin to the fact of the apparent renewal of the serpent's life when it awakens from its dormant condition, and when it casts its old skin. The adoration of AEsculapius, the Greek god of healing, was always connected with serpent worship. In the chief temple at Epidaurus tame serpents had a place of honour; and the god was said frequently to take the form of a serpent when he appeared to men. In the third century before Christ the help of AEsculapius was invoked by the Romans to avert a pestilence. In response, AEsculapius is said to have appeared in the form of a serpent, to have gone on board the Roman ship, and when the ship arrived in the Tiber to have glided over the side and to have taken possession of an island, where a temple was erected to him. It will be remembered also that Cadmus was changed into a serpent at his own request, when he discovered that serpents were dear to the gods. Among the Arabs the serpent is still the living thing of living things. This is seen in their ordinary speech. The Arabic word for "life " is haya; a common word for a serpent is hayyat, a plural form from hayya, a living thing. When Moses, therefore, lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, it would be recognized by the Jews as a symbol of that life which God had promised to give to those who would look to it in faith. To them it was a most natural symbol; when it ceased to be a mere symbol, and became an object of idolatrous worship, it was destroyed.

(Sunday School Times.)

During the American Civil War there was a man on one of the boat-loads of wounded from the field who was very low and in a kind of stupor. He was entirely unknown. Mr. Moody called him by different names, but could get no response. At last, at the name "William," the man unclosed his eyes and looked up, and revived. He was asked if he was a Christian. He said, "No," but manifested great anxiety upon the subject. "I am so great a sinner that I can't be a Christian." Mr. Moody told him he would read what Christ said about that, so turning to St. John's third chapter he read, "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 everlasting life," etc. "Stop!" said the dying man; "read that over again, will you?" It was read again. "Is that there?" "Yes," said Mr. Moody; "that's there just as I read it to you." "And did Christ say that?" "Yes." The man began repeating the words, settling back upon his pillow as he did so, with a strange, solemn look of peace on his face. He took no further notice of what was going on about him, but continued tour. touring the blessed words till Mr. Moody left him. The next morning when the soldier's place was visited it was found empty. Mr. Moody asked if any one knew aught about him during the night. A nurse who had spent the hours with him till he died, replied, "All the time I was with him he was repeating something about Moses lifting up a serpent in the wilderness. I asked him if there was anything I could do for him, but he only answered, 'As Moses lifted up the serpent.' Just before he died, about midnight, I saw his lips moving, though there was no sound escaping. I thought he might have some dying message for home, so I asked him for one. But the only answer was the whispered words, 'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him — ' and so on until his voice died away, and his lips moved no longer."

(D. L. Moody.)

Mr. Barnes, of the Jewish Mission, Mildmay, London, said: "I was visiting in a Jewish neighbourhood in the East End of London, and called upon a Jewess, whom I had known for a long time as a very hard-hearted unbeliever in Jesus Christ. I did not know what to say to her; in fact, I had given her up as almost hopeless. When, however, I called on this occasion she said, 'I love Jesus, I have got Jesus now as my Saviour.' I said, 'You have! How came you to love Jesus?' 'Well,' she said, 'I will tell you. You know my little girl attends your school, and she comes home and sings the hymns you teach her. She has been singing a good deal lately, "There is life for a look at the Crucified One." She kept on singing and singing, and at last it broke my heart, and I wondered, is it true there is life for a look. I have been induced to search the Bible, and I believe Jesus is now my Saviour."

Describing the artistic glories of the Church of St. Mark at Venice, Mr. Ruskin says: "Here are all the successions of crowded imagery showing the passions and the pleasures of human life symbolized together and the mystery of its redemption; for the maze of interwoven lines and changeful pictures lead always at last to the cross, lifted and carved in every place and upon every stone; sometimes with the serpent of eternity wrapped round it, sometimes with doves beneath its arms and sweet herbage growing forth from its feet; but conspicuous most of all on the great rood that crosses the church before the altar, raised in bright blazonry against the shadow of the apse. It is the Cross that is first seen and always burning in the centre of the temple; and every dome and hollow of its roof has the figure of Christ in the utmost height of it, raised in power, or returning in judgment."

"I have seen Jesus." This was the saying of a half-witted man, who had turned away from living a very wicked life, when he was asked what had led to this great change. The late Dr. Bushnell, of Hartford, Connecticut, tells this story. He was well acquainted with the person to whom it refers. In addition to his being naturally weak-minded, he had fallen into very wicked ways. He swore dreadfully; he was a confirmed drunkard; he would tell lies, and steal, and do almost anything that was sinful. At one time there was a revival of religion in connection with Dr. Bushnell's church. Among others who came to see the doctor then with the earnest inquiry, What must we do to be saved? was this weak-minded, wicked man. Thoughtless people, when they saw him going to church, supposed he was only going in mockery, and to make sport of it. And even serious Christians looked on him with pity, and rather wished he would not come. But when Dr. Bushnell came to converse with him he found him so earnest, and apparently so sincere, that he did not hesitate to receive him into the communion of the church. And the whole course of the poor man's life after this showed that the doctor was right in doing so. From that time onward everything about the man showed that "old things had passed away" with him, "and all things had become new." He became an humble and consistent follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. All his bad habits were given up. He never drank intoxicating liquor again. A profane word was never heard from his lips. He was truthful and honest; regular in attending church; diligent in reading the Bible, and faithful in practising what it taught. To those who had known him in former years this change seemed wonderful. And when he was asked by some one to tell what it was which had led to it, his answer was, in the words already quoted, "I have seen Jesus." This explained it all.

(D. Newton.)

As a general rule, self-contemplation is a power towards mischief. The only way to grow is to look out of one's self. There is too much introversion among Christians. A shipmaster might as well look down into the hold of his ship for the north star as a Christian look down into his own heart for the Sun of Righteousness. Out and beyond is the shining.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Did you ever hear of a captain of a vessel driven about by rough winds who wanted anchorage and tried to find it on board his vessel? He desires to place his anchor somewhere on board the ship where it will prove a hold-fast. He hangs it at the prow, but still the ship drives; he exhibits the anchor upon deck, but that does not hold the vessel; at last he puts it down into the hold; but with no better success. Why, man alive, anchors do not hold as long as they are on board a ship. They must be thrown into the deep, and then they will get a grip of the sea-bottom, and hold the vessel against wind and tide. As long as ever you have confidence in yourselves you are like a man who keeps his anchor on board his boat, and you will never come to a resting-place. Over with your faith into the great deeps of eternal love and power, and trust in the infinitely faithful One. Then shall you be glad because your heart is quiet.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Dr. Bonar, of Scotland, tells a story of a lady getting into conversation with a workman, and, finding he was a happy Christian, "How long have you been thus rejoicing?" she asked. "Six months ago," he said, "I heard an address from the words, 'Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.' I could not take it to myself, then," he said, "but when I went home that night I dreamt that 'whosoever' meant me. I got out of bed, and got the Bible to see the word, and there it was, 'whosoever.'" "But you knew it was in the Bible, didn't you?" "Yes, but I wanted to see it with my own eyes, and I've been resting on it ever since." Whosoever: — "Years ago a young woman married, contrary to the advice of her friends, an ungodly man. She was not long in finding out that she was unequally yoked, and much misery followed. Her husband's mother had given him a Bible, which was put away in a napkin and never looked at. Ten years later sickness overtook him, and the end was evidently fast approaching. One day when his wife had gone into the harvest field, and he was sitting alone in the house, the thought came to him, 'What a fool I've been! Here my life is nearly gone, and I've lived it without God and without hope.' Shortly afterwards his little boy came home from school, and the father sent the lad to look for the Bible. The boy brought it down and read part of John 3. to his father, and managed to read the little words, but when he came to the longer word 'whosoever,' in verse 16., he stumbled at it, and said, I can't read that; I don't know what it spells.' 'Why, boy,' said the father, 'you should know that word, because all may turn upon its meaning.' So the boy ran out to ask a traveller who happened to be passing what it meant, while the father sat at the open window. The traveller answered to the boy's inquiry, 'The word who-so-ever means anybody and everybody.' The words fell on the ear of the listening father, and he said to himself, 'Anybody, everybody. Why that includes me.' It was the very message he needed. He left his burden of sin with the great sin-bearer, and became a new creature in Christ Jesus."

Biblical Museum.
"What is wanting here?" said a courtier to his sovereign, with whom he was riding, amid the acclamations and splendour of a triumphal procession. "Continuance," replied the monarch. "So say I," adds Mr. James. "Tell me, if you will, of your youth, your health, the buoyancy of your spirits, your happy connections, your gay parties, your elegant pleasures, your fair prospects, and then ask me what is wanting. I reply, 'Continuance.' A single day may spoil everything; before to-morrow's sun shall rise you may be attacked by disease and death."

(Biblical Museum.)

"At last one snowy day, it snowed so much that I could not go to the place I had determined upon, and I was obliged to stop on the road; I found rather an obscure street, and turned down a court, and there was a little chapel. It was the Primitive Methodist Chapel. I had heard of these people from many, and how they sang so loudly that they made people's heads ache; but that did not matter. I wanted to know how I might be saved, and if they made my head ache ever so much I did not care. So, sitting down, the service went on, but no minister came (the snowstorm made him late). At last a very thin-looking man came into the pulpit, opened his Bible, and read these words, 'Look unto him, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.' Just setting his eyes on me, as if he knew all my heart, he said, 'Young man you are in trouble.' Well I was, sure enough. Says he, 'You will never get out of it till you look to Christ.' And then lifting up his hands he cried out, 'Look! look! look! It is only look,' said he. I saw at once the way of salvation. Oh, how I did leap for joy at that moment! I know not what else he said, I did not take much notice of it. I was so possessed with that one thought. Like as when the brazen serpent was lifted up, they only looked and were healed. I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard this word, 'Look!' what a charming word it seemed to me! Oh, I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away; and in heaven I will look on still in my joy unutterable."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I once told my little Willie to jump off a high table, and I would catch him. But he looked down and said, "Papa, I'se afraid." I again told him I would catch him; but he looked down and said, "Papa, I'se afraid." You smile, but that is just the way with the unbeliever. He looks down, and dares not trust the Lord. You would say that would be blind faith, but I say it would not be. I told Willie to look at me and then jump, and he did it, and was delighted. He wanted to jump again, and finally his faith became so great that he would jump when I was eight or ten feet away, and cry out, "Papa, I'se a comin'."

(D. L. Moody.)

Pilgrim's Progress.
"Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said with a merry heart, 'He has given me rest by sorrow, and life by His death.' Then he stood awhile to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him that the sight of the Cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked, therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the water down his cheeks. Now as he stood looking and weeping, behold three shining ones came to him, and saluted him with 'Peace be to thee;' so the first said to him, 'Thy sins be forgiven thee;' the second stripped him of his rags, and clothed him with change of raiment; the third also set a mark on his forehead, and gave him a roll with a seal on it, which he bid him look on as he ran, and that he should give it in at the celestial gate; so they went their way."

(Pilgrim's Progress.)

If we look upon Christ with the eye though of a weak faith, we shall be saved. Dr. Cneciger when he lay a-dying cried out, "Credo languida fide, sed tamen fide." I believe with a weak faith, but with a faith such as it is.

(J. Trapp.)

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