Summary: Jesus was a conversationalist. There are a few times where we see Jesus standing and crying out but the majority of the teachings of Jesus we conversational in nature. This message explores the conversation that took place between Jesus and Nicodemus.
Jesus & Nicodemus
Series: Conversational Evangelism
Lakewood COG | Pastor Jonathan | 1-29-2017
Introduction: Jesus was a conversationalist. There are a few times where we see Jesus standing and crying out but the majority of the teachings of Jesus we conversational in nature. (He sat down and taught them saying, He spoke to them by the way, He walked up to them and said come and follow me, He stopped on the road at a sycamore tree and asked Zacchaeus to come down for tea, etc.) In our text today we see Jesus having a conversation with Nicodemus. Let’s explore it together! Shall we?
I. The Strongest Attraction to the lost is the Power of God on Display (V.2)
A. Nicodemus knew that Jesus was not just another individual.
1. He called Him Rabbi
B. People in powerful positions are constantly watching the Church to see if they produce what they profess.
1. He was a “Ruler of the Jews” who came to Jesus by night.
2. Most of the time you will win people to Christ who are in powerful positions privately.
3. Never take advantage of their position for personal gain… Most of them are used to being used and are constantly looking for the shoe to drop.
C. Nicodemus knew that there was something supernatural about Christ. (V. 2)
1. “…no man can do these miracles that you are doing unless God is with Him.”
II. Conversational Evangelism - Jesus realized that his heart was opening and He began to talk with him about the condition of his heart. (V. 3-7)
A. Seeing the Kingdom of God can be interpreted in many ways.
1. If Jesus is not in your heart you will not go to heaven.
2. Seeing the Kingdom of God is to see God’s systems and ways of doing things. (Matt. 6:33)
3. It can also be further interpreted as understanding things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
B. Nicodemus was trapped in “practicality”. (How can we enter back into the womb and be born?) (V. 4)
1. We can’t expect lost people to think like we do…
C. V.3 Is “See” the Kingdom - V.5 is “Enter” the Kingdom
1. Jesus explains that there must be a natural birth and a spiritual birth.
- Born of the water is the Natural Birth
- Born of the Spirit is the New Birth
D. Jesus uses nature to further explain the meaning of the New Birth (The Wind)
1. The message of the New Birth was never intended to be complicated.
2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty (trickery), so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2. In communicating with lost people we should be discerning of our environment. God my use it to further explain the message of the Gospel in a simple, tangible and uncomplicated way.
- Jesus and Nicodemus may have been outside where the wind was blowing…
III. Nicodemus’s next question had to do with “How could this be”. It’s almost like He was saying, “Even if I did accept what you are saying at face value Jesus, How is this possible?” (V. 9-15)
A. Jesus challenged him to open his heart.
1. Jesus basically told him, You need to open your heart. You are a master (teacher) in Israel and you are acting like you don’t understand me.
- If I explain earthly things to you, you say you don't understand. Why should I expect you to understand heavenly things if you don't make an effort to understand earthly things like the wind?
- Translation - Quit giving me a hard time Nicodemus!
- Sometimes, at the right time and in the right way, there needs to be a little tough (not rude) talk!
B. V.14-15 - The OT is the Promise Concealed, The NT is The Promise Revealed.
1. Jesus met him where he was intellectually. He tied the Law of Moses into their discussion and began to explain to him about the Love of God.
- The brazen serpent being raised was a type of Christ being raised. (Num. 21:4-9)
- Sins were paid for at the “brazen altar” by the sacrificial lamb. (Nicodemus was talking to God’s sacrificial Lamb) - And they looked upon Him who was pierced…
Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced…