Summary: This sermon looks at Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus and the need to be born again.
The Kingdom of God
“A New Birth Required”
Without controversy the greatest need of the human race is to come back into the Kingdom of God; to come back into and under the rule and reign of God, which humanity left back at the Garden of Eden with the sin of Adam and Eve.
It is with this understanding of life’s greatest need that finds people drawn to one of the best-known stories of the New Testament and the gospel accounts. It is Jesus’ encounter with the Pharisee Nicodemus. Nicodemus is a teacher of Jewish law and religion, and he comes in the middle of the night to seek and interview with Jesus.
Now, in rabbinical thinking, Jesus was not really an official teacher of the law, yet he was teaching and preaching about the Kingdom of God, working miracles wherever he went, and the common man and woman were gathering to Him, along with religious leaders to witness this phenomena.
And so it was that one evening Nicodemus comes to Jesus seeking this most basic and fundamental need to humanity. And Jesus’ response puts the whole thing about entrance into the Kingdom of God more clearly and distinctly than at any other time.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 NKJV)
What I find interesting about Jesus’ response is that He never allowed Nicodemus to finish his thought or ask the question that was so near and dear to his heart. He only got as far as stating what he thought of Jesus and his ministry, and how Jesus was not only a teacher of the law but how God was with Him as well.
Jesus suddenly interrupts Nicodemus and answers his question even before he asked it. Notice it says Jesus answered. Answered what? Nicodemus never asked.
Jesus interrupts because He’s teaching Nicodemus and all of us one of the most profound truths about the Kingdom of God; how it can be entered. And the reason Jesus interrupted is because He didn’t have to hear the question; He already knew what was in Nicodemus’ heart.
There’s a perfect illustration found earlier.
“But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” (John 2:24-25 NKJV)
Jesus didn’t have to wait for Nicodemus’ question, because He already knew it. Why didn’t Jesus wait? It may have been because as an instructor of Jewish religion and law he may have been embarrassed because it should have been something he knew.
And it’s no different with us. When we come near to Jesus through reading His word and prayer we need to come with our hearts wide open to meet with Him and ask,
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 23:24 NKJV)
If this is our prayer then Jesus will meet with us, search our hearts, and tells us all about ourselves, even those things we’re afraid to ask.
Jesus will interrupt our carefully laid out speeches, thoughts, ideas, and rationalizations. He will read us like an open book, because nothing can be concealed from Him. He tears away our camouflage and makeup and shows us as we truly are.