Category Archives: Jesus & Nicodemus

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups – 574 – Jesus & Nicodemus

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups

09/17/16 – 574 – Jesus & Nicodemus

You may remember yesterday, we ended with Jesus chastising Nicodemus for not knowing the things he should have as a teacher when He spoke about being ‘born again”. He went on:

John 3:11-21

11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Notice that little verse in the middle of all that? Verse 3:16. The verse to beat all verses. The one most loved, and (I think) most often quoted. It’s that little verse that tells us why. Why we were created, why we were saved. Just because He loved us so much. Let’s read it one more time, eh?

 John 3:16

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

But then, doesn’t the rest of the passage speak volumes also? In spite of the fact that many people will deny knowledge that whatever they are doing is wrong, Jesus is saying that people know when they are doing wrong – that’s why they try to hide it.

Living a life of sin is very tiring, Trust me, I speak from experience. Not only do you have to remember all the lies you told to cover up your actions, you have to remember what you said to who!Let’s make it our prayer today that God would help us bring all our sins out into the light where wecan deal with them and be rid of them.

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups – 573 – Jesus & Nicodemus

Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups

09/16/16 – 573 – Jesus & Nicodemus

There’s one big word we toss around in Christian circles that most of us like just fine when it’s directed at someone else – but not when it’s pointed at us. That word is ‘accountability’. People back in Jesus time didn’t like it either – especially when it was Jesus who was using it. In any of its forms.

The concept Jesus used was actually pretty simple. If you say you know what you’re talking about, you’d better know what you’re talking about. The Pharisees were a group we hear about often in the New Testament. Why? Because they were supposed to be the guys who knew the scriptures.

They were the community leaders. They were the ones who stood up in public and prayed loudly to thank God that He had not made them like other men (sinners), women or dogs. They were the ones that were always asking Jesus ‘trick’ questions, trying to get Him to trip up. One of these Pharisees was a man named Nicodemus a real big shot…

John 3:1-10

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?

 And, that was usually how things turned out when someone tried to trip up Jesus using the Bible. I truly wish that we could see the look on Nicodemus’ face, hear the tone of his voice as he asked these questions. Was he seriously trying to understand? Was he sneering, asking more for the benefit of the people around them, thinking that Jesus would wind up looking foolish?

Jesus certainly didn’t wasn’t pulling any punches. He held Nicodemus accountable right there in front of everyone for not only already knowing but understanding these things!

To his credit, Nicodemus may have been really seeking to learn. He came to Jesus “at night”. He also turned out not to be such a bad guy later on, but we’ll get to the that tomorrow. For today, let’s pray that God would always hold us accountable for what we’re supposed to know, because it is the only way we can come to reach our full potential as His disciples.