Summary: Discussion of Jesus’s conversation with Nicodemus
A NIGHT VISITOR’S INQUIRY
Sixth in the Series: “Conversations With Christ”
Back in 1976, JIMMY CARTER was running against President Gerald Ford. And you might recall Jimmy Carter caused a bit of a sensation. Because during HIS campaign, Jimmy Carter said publicly he was a BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN.
It caused a stir, and it was a term that was used about him over and over again.
Wow…Jimmy Carter is not just your ordinary run of the mill Christian. He was a BORN AGAIN Christian.
A few years later, I was chatting with someone who I’d just met. He was telling me he was into herbs, health foods and marijuana. I mentioned I was into Christianity. And his first response was to take a step back and look at me. And he said, "You’re not one of those BORN AGAIN type of Christians, are you?"
Now, what would YOU ANSWER to that?
I’ll tell you right from the start - and we’re going to see it John’s gospel this morning - that there’s actually NO OTHER SORT.
If you’re a Christian, then you’re a BORN AGAIN Christian. In fact, there’s NO SUCH THING as a NON BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN.
LET’S LOOK AT OUR TEXT: (The original “Nick at Night’)
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus,
a member of the Jewish ruling council.
2 He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."
3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!"
5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
Nicodemus was a seeker.
Nicodemus was looking through a very narrow lens in his search for a messiah…a savior.
Jesus proceeds to challenge his assumptions.
· Nicodemus as a member of the Sanhedrin and a Pharisee would have lived with a very set political view of the concept of “The Kingdom of God.”
· By that, I mean, for him the Kingdom coming was nothing less than Israel being returned to the sovereign control of the Jews.
· Here Jesus is attempting to bring Him into an understanding of the Kingdom being a spiritual quest not a political one.
· On another occasion Jesus talked about this issue;
Luke 17:20-21 “Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ’Here it is,’ or ’There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you."
· My personal favorite verse describing the nature of the Kingdom of God is found in Romans 14 when Paul states;
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
· Jesus is saying that Nicodemus needs to get his spiritual eyes on in order to understand who Jesus really is.
· Nicodemus approached him as teacher and miracle worker…but there is more to know bout Jesus than these.