John 3:16: The Inquisitive Nicodemus


Nicodemus came by night.  He was a educated man, a leader in the religious community. He had power and most likely money.  He had spent his life studying the law and the prophets. He had heard of Jesus power, the miracles he performed. He had probably even heard Jesus teaching. 

But he didn't understand.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:3-7
Twice in John 3 do we see Nicodemus asking questions. How is this possible? How can it be?

We all know people like Nicodemus. Some are religious/spiritual people who have limited understanding of the Truth. Others are educated/intellectual people who rely completely on their own experience and the "reliable" facts of science. 

These are the people that keep good Christians locked away in our sanctuaries terrified to share the gospel.  These are the people that ask questions! (gasp!)

I believe it's one of the biggest reasons many Christians don't witness to their neighbors. We are afraid of not having all the right answers to the many questions people may ask. If we start talking about Jesus, those around us might expect us to explain things like the Trinity, end time events, creation/evolution, predestination, and the incarnation of Jesus (how was he both God AND man? Crazy!). 

These are big questions with equally big answers. But before we run and hide under the pews let's look at what Jesus tells Nicodemus in vs. 8. 
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8
Yep, I was completely baffled by this answer too! I had to dig out my trusty New Testament commentary for this one. 

So if you'll allow me to paraphrase, Jesus tells Nicodemus, "You don't know where the wind comes from or where it is going, but you feel it's effects so you trust it's there.  The same thing applies to those born of the Spirit. You don't have to understand everything to trust me." 

You and I (and all those people we witness too) are always going to have questions. In fact, the more we study scripture the more questions we are going to have, and even the smartest of Bible scholars can't explain everything. 

And when we are faced with these questions we need to know that we can trust what Jesus says, we can trust his promises of eternal life even if we don't fully understand the mysteries presented in his Word. 

Following this admonition to trust him, Jesus give Nicodemus the message of salvation. God loves us, sent his Son to die for us, and by believing in him we have eternal life.

So as you go out into the world this week to share the love of Christ, I challenge you to go armed with the same words that Jesus gave to Nicodemus in John 3. 

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