Notes: July 25, 2009

Not all believers can be trusted

While Jesus was at the passover, many people saw the miracles which he did (2:23 of John’s gospel). We don’t know what miracles they saw; but we do know that many believed in the name of Jesus because of those miracles. We also know (2:24-25) that Jesus didn’t trust them all, for he knew what was in their hearts.

Let us learn that not everyone impressed with the work of Jesus is devoted to Jesus himself.

John 3:1-21

  • Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews (v. 1).
  • Nicodemus came to Jesus by night and respectfully acknowledged that Jesus could not do miracles without God’s help (v. 2). (Remember John 2:23-25)
  • Although Nicodemus was quick to say what he knew, Jesus declared that one cannot know anything about the kingdom of God until AFTER he’s been born again (v. 3).
  • Nicodemus, like the Jews in the temple (John 2:20), saw things literally and not spiritually (proving Jesus’ point) and asked how (physically, literally) this second birth could take place (v. 4).
  • Jesus expands his thought by explaining that this second, new, re- birth is one of water and spirit (v. 5). Either Jesus is contrasting the literal water of physical birth with a subsequent spiritual birth, or he is speaking of a spiritual water as part of a spiritual birth. His message is that there are things of the flesh (literal) and things of the spirit (spiritual) and they are not the same (v. 6).
  • And, in case Nicodemus (and we) didn’t understand the first two times, Jesus repeats (v. 7), “Ye must be born again.”
  • Still don’t understand this new and Spirit birth teaching? It’s like the wind (v. 8). You can observe the effects; but you don’t understand it’s origin.
  • Jesus chides Nicodemus for being a teacher who does not understand such elementary truth (v. 9-12).
  • With a glimpse into his past, Jesus offers his credentials for being able to speak accurately about spiritual truth (v. 13).
  • Alluding to the events of Numbers 21:6-9 , Jesus informs Nicodemus (and us) that by trusting in Jesus we shall have eternal life (v.15-16).
  • Make no mistake. Although Jesus came to save men; those who reject him will be condemned for their evil deeds (v 17-21)