October 17, 2023 – Tuesday
John 3:9 NKJV
9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
John 3:9 NET
9 Nicodemus replied, “How can these things be?”
Yesterday I promised you Nicodemus’ reply or answer to Jesus’ explanation of being born again. And here you have it in both versions, How can these things be? That’s it folks and in this story line we do not hear from him again. So what gives?
Nicodemus illustrates the seeminglyh common Jewish lack of understanding of Jesus’ teaching about how it is necessary to have a new birth, a spiritual rebirth made available from God through Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and one’s faith. Maybe we should not be surprised at his lack of understanding. I heard from one reader of yesterday’s verse where Jesus said, 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit, followed by the commentary of mine and others provided, and they said, “I still don’t get it.”
I don’t know, but perhaps I used too much commentary by others and not my own simple understanding. Don’t know. I do know most Christians get it from the changes that happen in their lives once they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, believing He died on the cross for their sins and yet rose on the third day and subsequently ascended into heaven where He waits on the proper time to return. They know their own experience; it is their own. And they have seen the changes in others just as they have experienced the changes in their own lives. That they know and understand.
Nicodemus, however, did not know this although he had seen it in at least one person, the prostitute Mary. But he did not have the Bible or someone to explain the miracle he had observed in Mary. Jesus in the conversation tried, but was unsuccessful as we can tell by Nicodemus’ reply.
Jesus seems incredulous that Nicodemus did not understand when (NKJV) 10 Jesus answered and said to him, Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Or (NET) 10 Jesus answered, Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things? This sounds like Jesus is saying in modern day parlance, Come on, how can you not know, a teacher of your stature, surely you should know or understand this. But he did not.
Tomorrow we will look at more of Jesus’ answer to Nicodemus’ ignorance and lack of understanding.
Bottom Line: We understand from our own experiences and what we can read and study in the Bible. Nicodemus has much knowledge but did not know how to put it all together. For us it has been explained through the gospel of Jesus on the cross, His rising from the dead, and later His ascension into heaven
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have blessed us with Your Word so that we may more fully and easily understand the blessing You have provided for us. Thank You once again. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God