Posted by: Akash Vansal | April 29, 2011

Nicodemus

The Gospel : Lord Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

Lord Jesus, after His baptism by John, was led into the wilderness, to be tempted by the devil. After overcoming the Satan and his temptations, the Angels of The Lord attended to His needs and strengthened Him. He was now ready to begin His earthly ministry.
Jesus Christ taught and preached for about 3 ½ years before He was crucified on the cross. During these time, He taught individual, gathering, privately, publicly, but applicable to all and one equally.

To begin with, we shall learn what He taught some of the individual people, who, in due course of time, became very close to Jesus and developed very intimate relation with HIM. One of the first person who was fascinated by Jesus’ teaching was Nicodemus.

Jesus Christ healed the sick, performed miraculous signs and wonders for the benefit of the people, both physical and spiritual. Once He turned water into wine as the wedding host ran out of wine with much guest still to be served. Jesus gained respect and love and popularity as days passed. Like most people, Nicodemus was very eager to meet This Good Teacher.

Nicodemus was a member of Jewish ruling council and a Pharisee. The Pharisees were hard-line Jewish sect who believed in strict observation of the religious laws and commands, and rituals as handed down by their ancestors. They often taught which were not at all found in their Holy Scripture, The Tanakh. They favoured the rich and despised the poor. Jesus did not made any difference between the rich and the poor. Jesus often argued with the Pharisees and corrected and rebuked them. These, they did not liked. They hated Jesus and all those who were associated with Jesus. So, even though Nicodemus believed Jesus to be from GOD, yet he feared the Pharisees. He feared that, should the other councilors comes to know of his rendezvous with Jesus, they might rusticate him from the honourable councilors post. So, he decides to meet Jesus secretly during one night.

John Chapter 3
Verse 1-15 : 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.
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 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. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

Explanation
Verse 2: Nicodemus praises Jesus calling Him as Rabbi and telling Him that HE is from God. HE believed, no one can perform wonders without God’s divine intervention. Rabbi means teacher in Hebrew.
Verse3: A man of high reputation praises Jesus but He ignores his praiseworthy words. He takes no prode at it, but makes a statement of confidence straight away that without being born again, NO ONE can see the Kingdom of God, that is enter the heaven.
Verse4: Well, anyone would respond the way Nicodemus responded. Still, people respond the same way. To be born, one has to to be in womb! But when old, grown, how can one enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!?
Verse 5-8 : Now, Jesus explains. He that born again means the birth of spirit, the spiritual life. The way flesh or the physical body, gives birth to physical body, off spring, similarly, The Holy Spirit gives birth ot Spiritual life. The still spirit is enlivened and starts functioning, it becomes sensitive.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, Galatians 5:19-21. A man with a dead spirit lives in this fashion. He will not be moved in his heart against doing these things. He will be insensitive while doing these things. He will love to do these. But, a man whose spirit lives, he will hate such immoral things. He himself will not do these nor will he encourage others to do.
How does this effect take place, how the change, the new birth is effected? No one can see or say anything about air as to from where it comes and to where it goes. Similarly, the spiritual birth is invisible to our eyes, but the birth can be easily felt by the change in the behavior of a new born person. The new born person will be loving and caring to the needy. Will be kind and show tolerance, forbearance, will be willing to help, will be honest and faithful.
Verse 9:  Still, Nicodemus is unable to understand. But he is eager and interested to know it. He is not one of those who easily give up. And Jesus is always ready to dispense away every misunderstanding when we approach HIM as Nicodemus does.
Verse 10-15: Jesus explains that no one has ever come to earth from heaven except Himself. So, it is natural no one could have ever heard of such thing as spiritual. But now, that The One who has seen and testified spiritual reality, facts, HE need to be believed with faith. For He speaks only The Truth. Lord Jesus tells Nicodemus that even though he might have never heard of things which Jesus says, but what He says is the Truth. Jesus tells Nicodemus to believes what He says, to trust Him.
Now, what does Jesus wants Nicodemus to believe? Do we need Someone else help to believe ‘whatever’ Lord Jesus want Nicodemus to believe? What are the benefits in believing in ‘that’?  Get in touch if you are still not sure of what Jesus want Nicodemus and us to believe in.

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