In my last blog, I introduced my message that I taught last weekend at Rustburg Baptist Church from the text of John 3:1-16. Today, we get into the text and our Lord's conversation with Nicodemus.
The Bible says in Joh 3:1-2 that there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him." There is no doubt that Nicodemus had heard of the fame of Jesus and confesses that we know that thou art a teacher come from God. How did Nicodemus know this? – Because he said for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Also, notice that Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night. Did he do this because he was a just a busy man or because maybe he was ashamed or afraid to be seen talking with Jesus in broad daylight for fear of his fellow religious leaders? I think that it was fear of what others would think of him.
I tell the students all of that time, “If you fear God, you will not fear men; but if you fear men, you will not fear God.” The Bible says in Proverbs 29:25 that The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
In v.3, our Lord gets straight to the point when he answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Do you notice that Jesus did not thank Nicodemus for the kind words or flattery? Instead, he answers the question that he knew Nicodemus came to ask when he said, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
This was very characteristic of Jesus throughout His ministry in that he did not waste his time or words. In the next chapter, our Lord does the same thing in his conversation with the woman at the well when he cut through the pleasantries in John 4:16 when he asked her to Go, call thy husband, and come hither. You see God knows man and he knows that man has a sin problem and he has the answer to fix it.
At this point, I am reminded of a story about a little boy and a duck. He was visiting his grandparents on their farm. And he was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced but he could never hit the target. And getting a little discouraged, he headed back to dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let fly, hit the duck square in the head, and killed it. He was shocked and grieved. In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing. After lunch that day grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes." But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today, didn't you Johnny?" And then she whispered to him, "Remember, the duck?" So Johnny did the dishes. Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing, and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper." But Sally smiled and said, "Well, that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help." And she whispered again, "Remember, the duck?" So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed. After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's, he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he killed the duck. She knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing. But because I love you, I forgave you. But I was just wondering how long would you let Sally make a slave of you.
You see God knows what is in the heart of man and that we are slaves to sin because He’s been standing at the window. He knows everything about us. He knew that Nicodemus was indeed a slave to sin and that’s why He told him, I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.