By: Waylon Bailey ~
Very few passages of Scripture are more intriguing than the encounter of Nicodemus and Jesus as found in John 3.
While many expositors see this conversation differently, I see it as a conversation between an honest seeker – Nicodemus – and the very Son of God.
The subject of this conversation makes it even more revealing. While we don’t know what was on the mind of Nicodemus when he approached Jesus, Jesus deftly and quickly turned the conversation to the nature of salvation.
Jesus immediately removed the idea that one could be born physically into the kingdom of God. He also removed any question about the value of good works for making a person right before God.
As I have studied the passage, three areas stand out to me.
First, the patience of Jesus is astounding. Though Nicodemus was slow to understand spiritual things, Jesus patiently guided Nicodemus toward the Light.
He gave Nicodemus four illustrations to help Him understand – birth, wind, the serpent in the wilderness, and light and darkness. These illustrations make up John 3:1–21. Jesus patiently worked Nicodemus through his questions and objections to help him understand the necessity of a new birth.
Second, the persistence of Jesus is also evident in this passage. Jesus continually called this ruler of Israel back to the necessity of faith and trust.
Third, Jesus dealt with the truth of Scripture and the full revelation of God. While Nicodemus wanted to rest on his righteousness, morality, and birthright as a Jew, Jesus called him again and again to see that flesh only produces flesh but the Spirit produces life.
We have friends and family members like Nicodemus. They have an interest in the things of God but need to see God and His ways clearly. They need to quit trusting in their ideas and their intellect and learn to trust in the things of God.
More than anything, our friends need to see the necessity of a new birth that comes by the work and power of God in our lives.
May you and I help them to know and experience the hope that can be found only in Jesus Christ.
Have a great week!