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Summary: A religious man meets Jesus

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THE RELIGIOUS SEEKER

John 3: 10

INTRODUCTION:

A. One of the things that Jesus did at the

beginning of His ministry was to cleanse the

temple

1. The temple authorities had made a business

out of selling sacrificial animals and

exchanging money for the temple tax

a. These authorities had inflated the price

on both the money exchange and in selling

the sacrificial animals

b. The result was that people left the

temple, not thinking about God and His

goodness, but in how they had been taken

advantage of

2. Jesus went into the temple and did two things

a. He overthrew the tables of the

moneychangers and drove them out of the

temple with a whip

b. Then He announced the purpose of the

temple’s being there-- My Father’s house

is to be a house of prayer, but you have

made it a den of thieves

B. As you can imagine, Jesus’ actions didn’t make

Him popular with the religious establishment

1. From that moment forward, they sought to

discredit Jesus and even to kill Him

2. Later, they would threaten excommunication

for anyone who defended Jesus or became one

of His followers

3. With this in mind, we notice here that

Nicodemus came to see Jesus

a. Nicodemus was a part of the religious

establishment

b. He was on the Sanhedrin court-- the court

that would eventually sentence Jesus to

death

c. He was a teacher of the Law

4. Yet, He came to see Jesus

I. CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS MAN

A. Nicodemus was a man of courage

1. I know we make a great deal out of his coming

at night, but at least he did have the

courage to come

2. What is courage?

a. Courage is not an absence of fear

b. Courage is acknowledging the fear, facing

it and doing what is right in spite of it

3. Nicodemus had the courage to seek the truth

out for himself

a. He didn’t just take what others told him

about Jesus

b. He went to the source-- to Jesus Himself

4. Intellectual courage is needed today

a. Such courage is needed on college campuses

where Christianity is ridiculed

b. Such courage is needed in a world that

scoffs at the claims of Christ

5. With our eternal soul at stake, we need the

courage to seek out the truth

B. Nicodemus had an honest and open mind

1. While others were lambasting Jesus, Nicodemus

said v. 2

2. Based on what he saw, Nicodemus then sought

out more truth

a. Here was a master in Israel seeking truth

from a manual laborer

b. Nicodemus’ search for truth led him to put

aside his ego

3. A search for truth does call for an honest

and open mind

a. God may seek to teach us through a means

that will call for us to humble ourselves-- He taught Balaam with a donkey

b. God may use a preacher that we don’t like

to teach us truth

4. God is seeking those who will be honest with

Him

a. Come, let us reason together

b. Search the Scriptures

5. God can never reach one who has closed his

mind to the truth

C. Nicodemus was seeking something

1. Nicodemus was seeking an inward peace about

his soul and about eternity

2. His religion hadn’t met that need

a. It had brought him outward respect

b. He had given him an intellectual knowledge

c. It had even brought him a degree of

prosperity

3. It hadn’t brought him:

a. Assurance of heaven as his home

b. The power to overcome sin and temptation--

the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were

as mean and wicked

as the Romans-- they just dressed it up in

respectibility

4. Nicodemus was a master in Israel, teaching

Israel about something that he himself

needed-- that is why Jesus asked the

question in v. 10

II. JESUS’ ANSWER TO NICODEMUS

A. Nicodemus needed to be born again

1. The birth he needed was a spiritual birth

from above

2. The agency of the new birth is the Holy Spirit

a. Like the wind, we can’t see the Holy

Spirit but we can see and feel the results

of His work

b. We can’t see the Holy Spirit, but we can

feel His conviction as He draws us to a

saving knowledge of Christ

c. We can see the Holy Spirit, but we can see

the results of His work-- a changed life--

Saul of Tarsus

3. The results of the new birth

a. We become a new creature

b. Not only is our sin forgiven and cleansed,

but we receive God’s very nature as the

Holy Spirit comes to live inside us

c. Peter in II Peter 1: 4 talks about us

being partakers of the divine nature

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