Belonging refers to an affinity for a group, place or situation. As a loner for most of junior high, the first group that welcomed me was the Concord High Cross Country team. Over a four-year period, my coaches and teammates become like a second family to me. As a junior in high school, a Methodist Youth Group provided the same sense of belonging. As I joined an accountability group and Bible Study, these teenagers became my spiritual family. Jesus made this possible by his selfless act in Romans 5:8.
For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from the [latter] time forth, even forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this, Isaiah 9:6-7.
According to a vision from an Old Testament prophet, a Savior would be born unto us. Speaking for Israel, this Savior would be for an entire nation. However, as the apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Rome, his ministry offered this same Savior to the Gentiles as well. While Jews in some cities tried to kill Paul, this didn’t stop him from extending God’s free gift to all nations, Romans 6:23. If I could condense Paul’s words to one sentence, Jesus belongs to you, for unto us a Savior was born.
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([d]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him, John 3:16-17.
The passage above was spoken to a Pharisee named Nicodemus under the cover of darkness. Jesus’ inner circle, James, John in Peter, were likely somewhere in the vicinity, perhaps eavesdropping on this conversation. While it’s unclear if Jesus or the Holy Spirit revealed the full conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus on that night, these words to one man now applies to you as well. Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save it as Jesus belongs to you as long as you freely accept God’s free gift into your heart, Romans 10:9-11. May this verse convince you that Jesus belongs to you.
by Jay Mankus