Sermons

Summary: In John 3 Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus, a religious man, about religion yet Jesus doesn't offend Israel's teacher with His superior knowledge. How can we imitate Jesus in this. How can I avoid offending and taking offense?

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IT SEEMS THAT THE OLDER I GET, THE MORE I AM OFFENDED.

I’M OFFENDED BY A LOT OF THE MUSIC I HEAR ON THE RADIO.

I’’M OFFENDED BY MANY OF THE THINGS I SEE ON TELEVISION AND IN THE MEDIA.

I’M OFFENDED BY BUMPER STICERS. BY TEE SHIRTS. BY THE TITLES OF BOOKS.

I’M OFFENDED BY WRECKLESS DRIVERS WITH NO REGARD FOR SAFETY.

I’M OFFENDED BY LOUD PEOPLE. BY SELFISH PEOPLE. BY OBNOXIOUS PEOPLE AND RUDE CHILDREN.

I EVEN OFFEND MYSELF SOMETIMES WHEN I DON’T LET THE CHRIST IN ME SHINE ALL THE WAY THROUGH.

IN THE FIRST 21 VERSES OF JOHN 3 THERE ARE FOUR STATEMENTS MADE BY JESUS THAT ISRAEL’S TEACHER, NICODEMUS MAY HAVE TAKEN OFFENSE WITH BUT HE DIDN’T.

WHY DID NICODEMUS ACCEPT THE WORDS OF JESUS AND NOT GO HOME OFFENDED?

HOW WAS NICODEMUS ABLE TO ACCEPT THOSE WORDS AND MAINTAIN HIS INTEREST IN THE MASTER AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD?

HOW CAN WE BE LIKE NICODEMUS AND ACCEPT CRITICAL AND MEANINGFUL WORDS WITHOUT BEING OFFENDED?

OR HOW CAN WE LET AN OFFENSE GO, WITHOUT TAKING THE WORDS OR ACTIONS OF SOMEONE ELSE AND CONTINUALLY RUBBING THEM IN OUR OWN FACES.

THAT’S WHAT OFFENSE REALLY BOILS DOWN TO. THE FACT THAT I CAN’T GET OVER WHAT HAS BEEN SAID OR DONE.

BEFORE WE START THAT PART OF THE LESSSON, LET’S PRAY.

FATHER GOD,

TEACH US THROUGH SCRIPTURE TODAY TO OVERLOOK AN OFFENSE.

IT’S THROUGH JESUS WE PRAY, AMEN.

IN OUR LOOKING AT JESUS AND NICODEMUS FOR THE FIRST WAY TO AVOID BEING OFFENDED, WE NEED LOOK FIRST AT THE REASONING OF NICODEMUS.

TURN YOUR BIBLES FIRST TO JOHN 3 FOR OUR FIRST SNAPSHOT OF NICODEMUS.

JOHN 3:1-

HE IS AN IMPORTANT PERSON IN ISRAEL. SOCIALLY, RELIGIOUSLY AND POLITICALLY.

NICODEMUS HELD A HIGH POSITION OF TRUST IN THE JEWISH NATION.

HE WAS A PHARISEE, SCRUPULOUS IN HIS RELIGIOUS PRACTICE.

HE WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE SANHEDRIN, THE 71 MEMBER RULING COUNCIL DESCENDED FROM THE TIME OF THE EXODUS. THE JEWISH SUPREME COURT.

WITH OTHER JEWS OF THE TIME, NICODEMUS HAD BEEN IMPRESSED BY THE LESSONS THAT JESUS TAUGHT.

HE HAD SEEN JESUS RECEIVING THE POOR AND HEALING THE SICK.

HE HAD WITNESED JESUS DRIVING OUT THE BUYERS AND SELLERS FROM THE TEMPLE.

THIS CREATED IN NICODEMUS A GREAT DESIRE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT JESUS SO HE RISKED THE SCORN AND THE RIDICULE TO SEE FOR HIMSELF.

NICODEMUS NEEDS NO FURTHER INTRODUCTION TO KNOW WHO JESUS IS AND WHERE HE COMES FROM. “WE KNOW THAT YOU ARE A MAN FROM GOD”

MANY PROPHETS HAD COME AND GONE. FIRST CENTURY PALESTINE WAS FULL OF FALSE TEACHERS AND FALSE MESSIAHS.

NICODMUS IS A MAN WHO IS SEEKING THE RECONCILIATION OF HIS PEOPLE WITH GOD.

SO HE TAKES THE TIME TO OBSERVE AND INVESTIGATE THE “MESSIAHS” OF INTEREST.

NOTICE THAT THE GREAT TEACHER DOESN’T TRAVEL ALONE. IF HE HAS QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS SO DO OTHERS AND NICODEMUS HAS BROUGHT SOME OF THEM WITH HIM TONIGHT.

MAYBE HIS ENTORAGE IS MADE UP OF STUDENTS BECAUSE HE SAYS “WE”.

OR PERHAPS HE IS SPEAKING OF SOME OF THE OTHER OBSERVANT PHARISEES WHO HAVE SEEN THE SIGNS AND WONDERS OF JESUS AND HAVE COME TO THE SAME CONCLUSION.


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