Summary: We find a man who comes to Jesus at night to wrestle with a great question of life
Today we continue on our journey with Jesus. Last week we spent time with Jesus as he opened His public ministry with a miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee.
After the wedding, Jesus along with His mother, brothers and disciples (John 2:12) traveled down to Capernaum for a few days before traveling up to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. During this trip to Jerusalem, Jesus goes to the temple and cleanses it for the first time.
John 2:23 tells us “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing.”
This leads us to today’s message, “Questions in the Night.”
Are you one of those people who think about the deep questions of life at night when the hustle and bustle of the day is over? For many people nighttime is an opportunity to reflect on life.
Today our journey takes us to a meeting that happened at night. In John 3:1-2 we see that a Pharisee named Nicodemus came to visit Jesus at night. Many people look at this and think that Nicodemus was afraid to be seen with Jesus, but this is not likely since the Pharisees were not opposing Jesus as of yet.
Nicodemus most likely went at night because Jesus was busy during the day, as was Nicodemus. At night may have been the only opportunity that this man would get a personal audience with Jesus.
Let’s read John 3:1-2.
Nicodemus is very respectful of Jesus by calling Him Rabbi or teacher.
Nicodemus says that WE know that you are from God because of all the signs that He was performing. It would seem that the religious leaders quickly understood that Jesus was from God. Even in John 12:42-43 at the height of the bitterness that the Pharisee’s had for Jesus, many of the religious leaders knew that Jesus was from God.
Nicodemus came to Jesus seeking answers to his questions. In the first two verses of this chapter, Nicodemus has not asked any questions yet. As we pick up the text in verse three, we will see that Jesus is seemingly out of the blue, will make a thought provoking statement that will forever change the life of this Pharisee.
Jesus makes this statement even though Nicodemus has not asked a question. Jesus is answering a question that was in the heart of this religious leader.
In the heart of Nicodemus were questions about the Kingdom of God and how Jesus fit into that. He wanted to know how he fit into the Kingdom and if Jesus was the long awaited Messiah!
Nicodemus was a puzzled man, a man with many honors and yet with something lacking in his life. He came to Jesus for a talk so that somehow in the darkness of the night he might find light.
I. JESUS’ THOUGHT PROVOKING STATEMENT V3
READ VERSE 3
A. The Statement
Jesus makes a statement that will shock Nicodemus to the core.
Here is a man who is a respected religious leader of the nation of Israel. Jesus is telling him that unless a person is born again or born from above that they will not even see the kingdom of God!
The Christian world has pondered though the centuries the depths of this conversation.
Nicodemus was raised in a system in which if you were born a Jew, you were one of God’s chosen people. The Jews claimed heaven as a birthright. The Jewish system turned into a performance system. If you did you tithing and other religious duties, then you were all right with God.
Jesus deflates all of these thoughts with His though provoking statement.
Today people are trying to make up there own way to get to God. Jesus said unless you are born again that you would not even SEE the kingdom of God!
In his heart, Nicodemus wanted to know what part he would play in the Kingdom of God. Jesus in parts is answering that it is up to Nicodemus.
Jesus is telling us today that unless we are born again, we will not see the kingdom of God much less enter in to it.
What does it mean to be born again? How does it work? This leads us to our next section of the text, which is Nicodemus’ quandary.
II. NICODEMUS’ QUANDARY V4-8
READ VERSES 4-8
A. Nicodemus’ first question for Jesus. Verse 4
The expression “to be born again” was a term that was used frequently by the Jews to denote a change from Gentilism to Judaism by becoming a proselyte (a convert).