Summary: In John 3 and John 4, John's writings show us how Jesus' gifts were widespread and not limited to who we are; what we are; how much we have; or what we believe our value us. To our Lord, we are all the same and He offers, freely, to us all
The Apostle John (also known as Saint John) was one of Jesus Christ’s 12 disciples, and a prominent leader in the early Christian church. Along with James and Peter, John was one of Jesus’ closest confidants, so he appears in more biblical accounts than the other disciples.
John is traditionally regarded as the author of five books of The Bible: The Gospel of John, the epistles 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John, and the Book of Revelation.
More About John
• John was a fisherman along with his brother James.
• John was “The Disciple whom Jesus Loved.”
• John is one of the three Disciples Jesus kept closest. Peter and James are the others.
• John is considered a “pillar” in the church along with Peter and another James (Jesus' brother)
• Before He dies on the cross, Jesus asked John to take care of His mother, Mary.
• According to church tradition, John is the only Apostle who died of natural causes (the rest were martyred).
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin mentioned in three places in the Gospel of John: He first visits Jesus one night to discuss Jesus' teachings.
John 3:1-2 – “Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night (as he feared the council) and said, ‘Rabbi, 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.’
Nicodemus appears to me as the only senior-ranking official within the Jewish Council who recognized the things that Jesus had done were more assuredly from God.
He saw the signs before his very face! He saw the deaf given hearing; he saw the blind given sight; he saw the lepers healed… and he knew, this could only be done by someone who was “with God!”
3Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’
4‘How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!’
Nicodemus was not understanding what Jesus was trying to tell him. He was only thinking like a man would think and not like a child of God. (as we all are!)
5-7Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
Jesus is trying to make Nicodemus understand that the “rebirth” He was talking about, was the birth of allowing (and accepting) The Holy Spirit to enter in us.
8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.’
We have talked about this many times here at our Little Church. We may not ever see it but we, the believers, know it is among us always. “Perhaps not seeing, but believing anyway” as Jesus said to Thomas (Doubting Thomas) in John 20:29 – “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”
How many here today can say that this is you? Do you believe though you have not seen? It is what our Lord has asked us to do! As for me, I choose to believe.
9‘How can this be?’ Nicodemus asked.
Imagine how Jesus must have felt at this point. Here He is, telling Nicodemus the secrets of the Holy Kingdom, yet he still seems unwilling to believe!
10-11‘You are Israel’s teacher,’ said Jesus, ‘and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
It seems as though Jesus was getting a little frustrated with Nicodemus at this point, don’t you think? Imagine us today… if we had been able to see what Nicodemus had seen, how much stronger would our faith be today?
12-15I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.’”