Summary: Real life is a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Text: “For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the LORD” (Proverbs 8:35).
How would you explain life?
Would you say that life is the time between your birth and your death?
Would you say life is just your physical existence?
You might quote Genesis 2:7 which says, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
Listen to this explanation of life I received in an email.
On the first day God created the cow. God said, "You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a life span of sixty years."
The cow said, "That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. Let me have twenty and I’ll give back the other forty." And God agreed.
On the second day God created the dog. God said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty years."
The dog said, "That’s too long to be barking. Give me ten years and I’ll give you back the other ten." So God agreed.
On the third day God created the monkey. God said, "Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh. I’ll give you a twenty-year life span."
The monkey said, "How boring, monkey tricks for twenty years? I don’t think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that’s what I’ll do too, okay?" And God agreed again.
On the forth day God created man. God said, "Eat, sleep, play, and enjoy yourself. I’ll give you twenty years."
Man said, "What? Only twenty years! No way, that is not enough. Tell you what, I’ll take my twenty, and the forty the cow gave back, and the ten the dog gave back and the ten the monkey gave back, that makes eighty, okay?"
"Okay," said God, "You’ve got a deal."
So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, enjoy ourselves, and do nothing; for the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family; for the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren; and for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.
Life has now been explained.
People view life differently. Some people place a great deal of emphasis on education, career or vocation, making money, family, having a good time, traveling throughout the country or the world, acquiring material possessions, or just simply doing nothing.
I am not saying education, career, travel, earning a living, family ties, enjoyment or material possessions are wrong or bad, but I am saying life is much more. An individual can have all these things and still not having “real life”.
Our Scripture reading speaks of a man by the name of Nicodemus, an educated man who was a leading Pharisee, “a ruler of the Jews” and a member of the Sanhedrin. The Pharisees were experts in the interpretation of the Scriptures. The Sanhedrin was a council or group of 71 who heard mostly civil but some criminal cases.
Nicodemus is a good example of an educated person who does not have all the answers to life. His life was probably viewed as exceptional in the eyes of the common people, but in his heart Nicodemus knew something was missing.
His desire was to go to Jesus and ask a question. He went to Jesus by himself when it was dark, presumably so the other Pharisees would not know, and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2).
The signs Nicodemus referred to were supernatural wonders or miracles Jesus performed. John incorporates seven miracles in his Gospel and refers to them as signs. These signs include: turning the water into wine; healing the official’s son; healing the paralytic at the pool; feeding the multitude with a few loaves and a few fish; walking upon the water; healing the young man who was born blind, and raising Lazarus from the dead.
Jesus answered Nicodemus’ question with these words: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
What do you think when you read or hear that Scripture? Are you like many people who believe that the words “born again” are words that only the Baptists use? I would hope not because these words are also in your Bible.