October 12, 2023 – Thursday
John 3:1-3 NKJV
1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 2:23-25 NET
1 Now a certain man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling council, 2 came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Yesterday, we looked a John 2:23-25 and if you are like me (not having the Bible memorized) you may have wondered, “What came next?” Well, what came next are the verses you see above. Of course, in the original they were not in the next chapter, nor were they numbered as chapters and numbered verses came later, much later. That started in 1227 A.D, and accepted fully in 1382 A.D.
We know from the previous verses Jesus was at the temple in Jerusalem and had cleansed the temple after which the Jewish leaders or authorities questioned Him and asked for a sign to show His authority. 19 That was when He made the famous statement 2:19, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Of course, He was referring/prophesying as to the temple of His body, but the leaders thought He was speaking of the temple that He stood in. After He had risen from the dead, His disciples would remember He had said this.
Then somehow, we are privy to His private thoughts in 2:23-25. And suddenly there is a transition to where it is nighttime and Jesus has the conversation above with Nicodemus. It is assumed Nicodemus came at night so no one else would know he was speaking with Jesus and addressing Him as a Rabbi, a holy man from God. Nicodemus was one of the leaders of the Jews and his mind was open enough to recognize Jesus was indeed a Rabbi, a holy man from God or as he said it, 1 Now a certain man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling council, 2 came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.”
That was when Jesus hit him with a statement that had to set him back on his heels, 3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Now, we today know what that means, to die to the values of the world and be reborn, living for the values of God, but that is something no Pharisee had ever considered. He did not think to stop and consider what Jesus had said. He simply replied, 4 How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? His confusion is understandable, he didn’t have the advantage we have of Paul’s clarifying statement from 2 Corinthians 5:17, 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. More on their exchange tomorrow.
Bottom Line: We who are born again must always remember we are new creatures as a result and all of our values revolve around the reality that we are followers of Christ.
Prayer: Almighty God, Help us to walk in ways that reflect well upon our status as new creatures, born again through our faith in Jesus. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor (Still working for the Glory of God)
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