Summary: Jesus teaches the following: You are looking at the micro and missing the macro; spiritual dimension to life, and if we can become right with that realm we can live fully in this world for our years and then forever. Unless we are born from above… born sp
[Recap –Nicodemus, a religious leader, comes to Jesus at night, and is told “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”]
Seen Jesus… but his religious understanding is making it hard to understand.
The greatest confusion which the enemy of our souls uses is religion… as it takes the great virtues… offers some valuable truth… and but can then leave us set is a position of self determination that cannot resolve the deepest issue. It can inspire morality, help to consider what is important, it can help provide great principles for life… but it cannot reconcile us with our Creator and the whole eternally good that we refuse in our independence… in our own claim of sovereignty.
For Nicodemus, as part of the people of Israel, … if the Messiah had come it was simply about getting Israel back on top.
- Pharisees relate to God as job description instead of doctor's prescription
Tries to come rabbi to rabbi
He uses the term “Rabbi” (teacher) to address Jesus instead of “Lord” thereby speaking to Him as
an equal. The signs had pointed to Jesus as God‟s man and Nicodemus wanted to speak to
Jesus as one Rabbi to another.
Comes to Jesus at night, and is told “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
= recalls the intersection of two realms; another dimension of existence
Jesus had stated the same to Nathaniel… you will see the son of man connecting the world above with this world below; if you want to be connected… I am the way
You are looking at the micro and missing the macro; spiritual dimension to life and if we can become right with that realm we can live fully in this world for our years and then forever. Unless we are born from above… born spiritually… we won‟t enter the fullness of life.
Water – John‟s baptism of repentance / Spirit‟s immersion into new life
There is certainly an element of mystery to the while process… as Jesus says it is like the wind which we can‟t see. Something happens within our spirit… indwelling. Kind of like how people wake up in the morning…. So dramatically and some slowly. (For some people, waking up is a rude and shocking experience. Off goes the alarm, and they jump in fright, dragged out of a deep sleep to face the cold, cruel light of day. For others, it's a quiet, slow process. They can be half-asleep and half-awake, not even sure which is which, until gradually, eventually, without any shock or resentment, they are happy to know that another day has begun. Most of us know something of both, and a lot in between. Waking up offers one of the most basic pictures of what can happen when God takes a hand in someone's life.)
Nicodemus can‟t initially grasp… so Jesus continues
John 3:9-21 (NIV) 9 "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked. 10 "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man.
14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 "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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
Jesus describes birth into a new life in three ways...
Three descriptions of the choice for birth into a new life…
14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.