DAILY DEVOTIONS: "Born again?" -Jon Courson

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"Honoring God in the Morning"


And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
Numbers 21:8–9
What does this mean? Jesus explained it perfectly . . .

“Master, I know no man can do the works You do except God be with Him,” Nicodemus said to Jesus.

“Truly, I say unto you, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God,” Jesus answered, as if to say, “Let’s not talk about miracles, Nicodemus. I want to get to the root: you must be born again.”

“Born again?” Nicodemus asked. “Can a man enter into his mother’s womb a second time?”

“That which is born of flesh is flesh, but that which is born of Spirit is spirit,” Jesus said. And then He reached back to this story in Numbers 21 when He said, “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).

Jesus likens Himself to the serpent - the very creature that caused Eve to question God’s goodness in the garden of Eden. Why? Because He who knew no sin would be made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Here in Numbers 21, there were no doubt those who said, “You’re telling me all I have to do to be healed is look at a pole and see a brass snake? What good will that do? I need some anti-venom.” Or, “If I can get the right prescription, I can get over this infection.” And, because of their stubbornness, they would die unnecessarily.

So too, there are people today who will not look to the One who hung on the pole of the Cross. “All I need is some Prozac,” they say, “or a beer, or a hot fudge sundae. All I need is something to fill up the hole in my soul.”

God said the only thing we must do is to realize we’ve been bitten and look to the serpent - the Son of Man - on the Cross. The one who does so will be made whole. It’s just that simple.


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