Summary: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend some one-on-one time with Jesus in the flesh? I have! Nicodemus got that chance.
Nic at Night
Series: One on One with the Master
January 24, 2009
One of the best ways to get to know someone is to spend time with them. This year, we’re wanting to get to know Jesus better, so for the next few weeks, we’re going to spend some time studying 3 people who spend personal time with Jesus while He was on earth. The 1st incident is found in John 3:1-21. Read about it with me…
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend some one-on-one time with Jesus in the flesh? I have! In the next 3 weeks we’re going to meet some people who had that kind of experience. The 1st person is a religious leader, the 2nd an immoral woman and the 3rd a hopeless, greedy tax-collector. Each of them had a short encounter with Jesus and it lit. changed their lives for eternity. Now I always thought that having a one-on-one with Jesus would be a wonderful, joyful, edifying experience… but after reading about the 3 people, I’m not so sure anymore. I’m not saying that spending time with Jesus wouldn’t be an awesome thing… I’m just saying that after seeing what happened to these people, it might be a little more “uncomfortable” than I’d like it to be!
See a lot of people have this image of Jesus as a sweet, kind man with his long hair blowing in the wind, as He speaks to his disciples in a soft, monotone voice. But that’s not the Jesus we meet this morning. There’s no doubt in my mind that Jesus would be the most kind, compassionate, understanding person I’ve ever met… but don’t make the mistake of limiting him to that…because Jesus was also a man of extreme passion and strength. He’d also be the most genuinely open and honest man you’ve ever met. As we’re going to see in the next 3 weeks, Jesus was able to establish intimacy with people amazingly fast, & he was incredibly perceptive. He saw past the false walls we all like to put up, and if you were with him for any length of time, you’d feel like He was looking right through you (and He is!) Depending on what you’re trying to hide, that would make you a little bit uneasy.
That’s why I think about a one-on-one with Jesus with mixed emotions…I know the minute I sat down with Him… he’d go for the jugular! Whenever Jesus got into a conversation with people…he produced a crises. He compelled them to decide, to make a choice. And at the end of the conversation… you’d either be with him, or against him. That’s what happened one dark night in Jerusalem, as Jesus and one of the religious leaders named Nicodemus met face to face…
It’d been a busy week for Jesus. For the 1st time on record He’d been performing a number of public miracles. As a result, He was quickly gaining both fame and followers. Now, most people I know would be overjoyed by that fact, but not Jesus! Jesus was smart enough (and wise enough) not to let it go to his head! In the last vs. of John 2, John lets us in on what Jesus was thinking… READ John 2:23-25. John’s telling us that although a lot of people were responding and believing in Jesus, (because of what He was doing for them)… Jesus wasn’t believing in them! In otherwords, He had no faith in their faith! You know, we think it’s all about us sometimes. “All I have to do is ‘say’ that I believe in Jesus, and I’m good!” But have you ever stopped to think that maybe Jesus doesn’t believe in your belief? That He sees it as kind of “flighty”. Here today, gone tomorrow? One day you’re a soldier in the Army of the Lord… the next day you’re going AWOL! Our so-called ‘belief’, lasts just about as long as it takes for the miracles to stop. Listen… you can’t fool Jesus with your words! He knows the human heart! And His encounter with Nicodemus is a classic illustration of that!
Each of us at some point in our lives needs to come to a spiritual crises… where all the hoopla, all the good intentions, all the false motivations are put aside and we REALLY… I mean REALLY meet Jesus face to face… Nicodemus is about to have his… and I want us to follow in his steps. You’ve heard of an “emotional breakdown”, well I want to talk to you this morning about having a “Spiritual Breakdown” It’s something we all need to go through and if you’ve never had one… hopefully, you’ll have one this morning!
The 1st step in any authentic, meaningful spiritual breakdown is to..