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Summary: Nicodemus. The first three verses of this chapter contain a surprising exchange between Nicodemus and Jesus. It is almost as if they are having completely different conversations. What is this all leading up to???

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John 3:1-15

“Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night 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.”

“Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’”

“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!”

“Jesus 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.’ The 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.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

“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.

“I 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.”

John 3:1-2a

“Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said,

Remember: we’re at the beginning of the story - never heard of Nicodemus before

Look at the spectrum this is covering …

Nicodemus - member of the Sanhedrin, respect in the community, able to judge difficult cases, extensive religious training, prided themselves as being the exalted rulers of God’s chosen people, wore special clothing so that they would be easily identified

Jesus - rumored to be conceived out of wedlock, from a simple family, homeless, 12 scruffy disciples of no account or of ill-repute, raised in a town that had either a bad reputation or was undistinguished, no Rabbinical training,

Jesus - performing many miracles

Nicodemus - not so much …

Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus at night?

Did he have genuine spiritual curiosity but wanted to check this Jesus thing out covertly? Trying to avoid the scorn and hostility of his colleagues?

Was he sent by the Sanhedrin on an information gathering mission?

The truth is, we don’t know! If the Bible wanted us to know the Lord would have put it into the Scriptures. So, let’s not waste any more time conjecturing about his motives. The fact is that he came to Jesus at night.


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