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. John 3:14,15
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.