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Look And Live

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  • Format: Folded Tract
  • Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
  • Pages: 6
  • Version: NLT
  • Returns: Because this item is custom-printed to order, it cannot be returned.

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The full text of this tract is shown below in the NLT version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)

Jesus was a people magnet. During His short time on earth, He attracted the outcasts of society—the misfits, the poor, the undesirables. People sensed that He was humble, meek, and approachable. Crowds followed Him, and mothers felt safe enough to bring their children to Him to be blessed. Even one of the important religious leaders of the day couldn’t resist being drawn to Him. He came to Jesus at night, and His name was Nicodemus.

Nicodemus must have had many questions for the new, miracle-working teacher, but Jesus quickly got to the heart of the matter. He told Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Nicodemus had no idea what Jesus was talking about. “‘What do you mean?’ exclaimed Nicodemus. ‘How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?’” (John 3:4). Sensing Nicodemus’ confusion, Jesus told him a story from the Old Testament to help him understand what it meant to be born again. Nicodemus, as a religious leader, would have been familiar with the story.

The Snake on the Pole

Many centuries earlier, Nicodemus’ ancestors, the Jews, were crossing the desert on their way to the Promised Land. Even though God fulfilled their every need—food, water, protection from enemies—they still grumbled and complained against Him.

“‘Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?’ they complained. ‘There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!’” (Numbers 21:5).

As a result of their grumbling and lack of faith, God chose to discipline His children by sending poisonous snakes among them.

“So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died” (Numbers 21:6).

Being surrounded by poisonous snakes sent from God would certainly get someone’s attention and cause them to reflect on their behavior—immediately! And that is exactly what happened.

“Then the people came to Moses and cried out, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.’ So Moses prayed for the people” (Numbers 21:7).

God’s solution to the problem was simple, yet amazing. Here is how the story ends.

“Then the Lord told him, ‘Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!’” (Numbers 21:8).

Put yourself in the sandals of these terrified people. They have been bitten by poisonous snakes and are about to die. Yet in their distress, they look up at the snake on the pole, and instantly, they are fully recovered. There were no other conditions to be added to their recovery. They simply looked, and lived.

Jesus, the Snake, and the Cross

Jesus explained to Nicodemus that He too would be lifted up on a cross as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. But Jesus would provide something far more wonderful than recovery from poisonous snake venom. A simple look of faith to Jesus would bring spiritual recovery—eternal life with Him in His kingdom. Here is what Jesus told Nicodemus:

“And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).

It may seem surprising to hear that the obtaining of eternal life is so simple: look and live. And yet, as Jesus finished explaining to Nicodemus how to be born again, in the very next verse of the Bible He drove home the point again by speaking the most well-known verse in the world—John 3:16. Like those bitten by the snakes in the wilderness, there is only one condition to be met to be saved: belief in Jesus for eternal life.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Can It Really Be That Simple?

Obtaining eternal life is so simple that most miss it. Many believe that the way to be right with God and spend eternity with Him is by being good, going to church, getting baptized, and doing good deeds. Yet the Bible is clear that works play no part in obtaining eternal life.

“When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners” (Romans 4:4-5).

As you read the following verses, notice that eternal life is a free gift from God, and that it is not a reward that God gives for the good things we do.

“God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

You Too Can Look and Live

Jesus left heaven long ago and was born a baby in Bethlehem so He could become human. As a human, while still being God, He was lifted up on the cross to die and absorb the punishment for man’s sins. Raised from the dead, He now offers eternal life as a free gift to anyone who believes in Him. It’s that simple! Look and live.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life” (John 6:47).

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