Summary: Through the teaching to Nicodemus, we discover that Jesus can meet all of our needs, and provide us with new and wonderful life.
February 6, 2000 John 3:1- 21
“Man born twice!!”
How many of you have ever looked at your own children or someone else’s and said these words: “Oh, if only I could be a young again and have half the energy that these kids do.”? This past Wed. night, I heard someone make a remark that went something like that. Mark Twain after watching a bunch of children and wishing that he had their energy made this remark: “Youth is wasted on the young.” The Lord has seen fit to bless this church with a rather large proportion of children. Having a lot of children around can remind us of how old each of us is getting because we constantly have to compare our level of energy with theirs. But having children nearby also adds a lot of laughter to life.
A mother and her son had a confrontation one afternoon. Mother: "Young man, there were two cookies in the pantry this morning! May I ask how it happened that there is only one now?" Boy: "It must have been so dark I didn’t see the other one."
An earthquake frightened the inhabitants of a certain town. One couple sent their little boy to stay with an uncle in another state, explaining the reason for the nephew’s sudden visit. A couple of days later the parents received the following telegram, "Am returning boy. Send earthquake instead."
Little Suzie finished her prayers before bed one evening with these words: Dear God, Before I finish, I want you to take care of mommy, take care of daddy, take care of my sister and my brother and please, God, take care of yourself, because if you don’t we’re all sunk. Amen!
During one Wednesday service, the children’s worker was talking with the kids about God’s work of creation. He carefully explained to them what God did on each day. After the lesson, the worker was asking the kids to tell her about God’s work on each of the days. When she asked about the 7th day, one young man’s hand went straight up: "On the seventh day God went to jail." When asked to explain, the boy replied, "You said that on the seventh day God got arrested." --Charlotte Cooper
Late one night, when Jesus was not surrounded by a crowd of people, and most of Jerusalem was getting ready to go to bed, Jesus kept an appointment that a man by the name of Nicodemus had made with Him. During that meeting, Jesus made a radical statement. He told Nicodemus that he could become a child again! But He went further than that; He told him that he MUST become a child again! On that night, Nicodemus learned that Jesus’ arrival on earth wasn’t just something that had significance for the world; he learned that Jesus’ arrival on earth was going to change his own personal life forever.
What does the coming of Jesus mean for you? It means that . . .
1. Jesus can meet your true needs. (vs. 1-3)
It was a need that brought Nicodemus to Jesus for that meeting. Nic. had a need to be in control of every part of his life. Nic. was the one who initiated the meeting, he was the one who determined when they were going to meet, and he attempted to control the topic of conversation. He came to Jesus that night to find out exactly who Jesus was. Jesus was an unknown to Nic. and his associates. Until Jesus came along, they had the people pretty much under their control. When he said that the people were supposed to do something, they responded with obedience. And then came Jesus. He started doing miracles and healing people. And He started teaching things that were contrary to what Nic. believed and taught. Nic. couldn’t handle any part of his world being outside of his understanding, so he met with Jesus so he could try and categorize Jesus and fit Him neatly in a box or figure out exactly what file Jesus belonged in his file cabinet. Did he go under the heading of “teacher”, or “healer”, or “nut-case”? Nic. had to know.
Nicodemus also thought he had a need for power. Verse 1 says that he was a member of the Pharisees. These men were the upper-crust of society. They were well-educated, respected and to a certain extent feared. If you made them mad at you, they could create a lot of heart ache for you. They were very religious, but religion to them was a means of exerting power over people, not of bringing healing to hearts. Within this group of Pharisees, there was an even smaller group – the elite of the elite – called the Sanhedrin. It was the Sanhedrin that later tried and condemned Jesus. They had religious power, but in a society where your religion controls everything that you do, they also had tremendous political power. Nic. didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize his position with these two groups, because he didn’t want to lose that power.