Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

Necodemus comes to Jesus at night to learn: John 3:1-21

 

Thoughts about serving others

This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

My prayer is for you to join me on this journey. Subscribe to this blog below to get an email when a new post is available.

Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

2 Replies to “Jesus Teaches Nicodemus”

  1. Nicodemus: John 3:1-21, John 7:50-52, John 19:38-42.

    • John 3:1-21.  Nicodemus comes to learn from Jesus himself
    • John 7:50-52.  He tries to redirect the council by referring to their own laws
    • John 19:38-42. Wraps Jesus’ body with myrrh and aloes for burial

    As many times as I’ve studied John 3:16 and the verses that follow, today I’m reminded these verses follow the interview with Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council and perhaps a significant convert to Christianity, even before it was referred to as such. It’s funny how we read the Bible once, then another time from a slightly different angle and see something quite differently. The words didn’t change, but we hear something new.

    Nicodemus comes to Jesus to learn. He has the unique opportunity to actually go to Jesus and ask him questions directly. He’s a scholar, a teacher of teachers and his desire to understand cannot be satisfied by rumor and hearsay. He is aware of Jesus and admits, “we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him” (John 3:2). “We” in this case is quite interesting.  Perhaps he is deflecting attention to his own curiosity by saying “we” (something I think ‘we’ still do), or perhaps he has just left a conversation of the inner circle in which they have concluded, Jesus must be from God. In any case, the reference is to a small minority of the ruling Jewish leaders.

    But he comes to Jesus and asks the question! He’s not so afraid to humble himself and find Jesus and ask. This alone is a significant part of this passage. How I wish others would simply come and ask, seek to find an answer rather than perpetuate the lies of whatever religion they’ve adopted to satisfy themselves. Jesus’ reaction is awesome! He cuts to the core of the issue and goes directly to the heart of salvation:

    Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. John 3:3

    Contrary to what some suggest, I don’t think Nicodemus misunderstood Jesus when he asks, “How can someone be born when they are old? … Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” (3:4). Nicodemus wants a complete answer, not a sound bite for the masses, he needs to understand fully so he can teach others, that’s his life-long pursuit, that’s what he does. Unlike the other interactions with Pharisees and Jewish leaders, Jesus isn’t unhappy by his questions, rather, he provides some deep theological implications that ultimately will lead to Nicodemus’ conversion and probably the salvation of many. Jesus’ words of explanation to Nicodemus are profound and I see the scene as one of a kind, yet strong father, speaking to his son.  “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” (3:12). These are challenges to Nicodemus to go and study, to seek and find, to learn the true meaning of all that is going on and to watch. Jesus doesn’t kick him out, he gives him deep thoughts to ponder.

    These are the kinds of conversations I would love to have with those seeking God, seeking true. Lord, help me to learn from your example and boldly, strongly, direct those who seek to dig deep and find answers. Help me to be patient in the process, knowing full-well you are the God of the ages. Give me insight to know how to do this and when it’s appropriate–discernment.

    The first half of this reading is mostly in red letters in my Bible. Verses 16-21 are now John’s inspired words for us to hear. As mentioned in the beginning, it’s most interesting to read John 3:16 in the context of just finishing the conversation with Nicodemus, the challenge is laid out to wrestle with this concept of being born of the Spirit. Think of that when you read the words,

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17

    This is the way Jesus answered Nicodemus, not to condemn him, but to save him! These words follow some serious discussion with one who is intent on learning. Yes, we have the parable of the sower that scatters seeds everywhere, but this is a more direct interaction, do you believe? “…whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (3:21). Come out Nicodemus, come out all who seek! Here there is no darkness, only light.

    Thank you Lord for these amazing words. Teach us to teach others, to be patiently bold, always understanding that everyone we meet is an eternal being in human form and you love them all, you want them all to join in eternal salvation!

  2. Interesting to review the parallels between John 3 and 4 where Jesus is quoted talking with Nicodemus (John 3) and the Samaritan Woman in John 4. The simple graphic helps us appreciate the lesson Jesus (through John) is trying to teach.

    Personal Interviews

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: