Summary: Jesus is seeking to get Nicodemus to a deeper level of thought concerning the Kingdom of God that will defy all he had learned to this point in his life.
• SLIDE #1
• What us the most well-known passage in scripture other than Judge Not, lest you be judged?
• John 3:16!
• Today we are going to examine the context from which Jesus gave is this wonderful passage of Scripture!
• This week we being a new series entitles Deep Thoughts with Jesus.
• One of the things Jesus did was to challenge the status quo. Jesus challenged the conventional thinking of His day, He tried to get people to go to a deeper level of thought concerning life.
• Many people walk be sight, folks have a tendency to focus on what they see along with placing their focus on the here and now.
• How many of the things we KNOW in life are things we have simply accepted without giving what we believe much thought?
• Our attention span is so small these days that if we are not careful, we will live and think in 30 second soundbites.
• When we face situations in life, we can either go with the flow of the world, accept conventional thinking, or we can challenge the status quo, and allow ourselves to go deeper in our thought process.
• I saw an example of this on a video the other day concerning one of the hot button issues of today concerning voter ID laws.
• The video featured various college students who offered their view on the subject.
• The problem was, they were parroting the media on the subject and when you listened to them, they were inadvertently deeply insulting the intelligence of those they thought they were championing.
• These young adults accepted the conventional thinking espoused by the media without really spending any time in deep thought on the subject.
• In this series, we will see how Jesus made efforts to get those who wanted to follow Him to really think about things and just parrot with society was feeding them.
• Today, we are going to examine an exchange Jesus had with one of the members Sanhedrin, the Jewish high council.
• The issue at hand is pertinent for us today because of the way people either misunderstand or purposefully remain ignorant on the truth of the subject.
• Let’s turn to John 3:1-2 to begin our quest today.
• SLIDE #2
• John 3:1–2 (CSB) — 1 There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could perform these signs you do unless God were with him.”
• SLIDE #3
I. A seeker with a question.
• It was evening and I am sure it had been busy day for Jesus. In chapter 2, Jesus performed His first sign by turning water into wine, and He had cleansed the Temple of the bad things that were going in there.
• The end of chapter 2 of John tells us that while Jesus was at the Passover Feast, people saw His miracles and many were believing in Him.
• While Jesus is probably trying to get some rest, a man identified as Nicodemus approaches Jesus in the night.
• Nicodemus us further identified as part of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Court.
• Before we go deeper, many commentators have speculated as to why Nicodemus came to Jesus at night, and many commentators surmise that it was because Nicodemus was afraid of what the others on the Sanhedrin would think.
• That is a possibility. But I am not one to subscribe to that because later in John 7:51, Nicodemus stands up for Jesus in front of the council.
• It is possible that Nicodemus was busy during the day, or that Jesus was busy during the day.
• By the way, Nicodemus is the only one of the Sanhedrin that we know of that approached Jesus in this manner.
• This is so early in the ministry of Jesus, I am not sure the others on the council would be upset at one of their own coming to see Jesus, as a matter of fact, some others on the council could have sent Nicodemus to find out more about Jesus.
• Nicodemus is only mentioned in the Gospel of John.
• Nicodemus approaches Jesus by offering Him respect by calling Jesus a Rabbi!
• Nicodemus also states that WE know that Jesus was a teacher sent by God because no one could perform the signs that Jesus performed unless God was with Him!
• Who is the WE? It could be an editorial WE, the WE could be those who possibly sent him to speak with Jesus? Maybe it referred to the general assessment of what many Jews in Jerusalem were feeling?