30
May
2018

JOHN 3:10-16 WHOEVER BELIEVES IN JESUS SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

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John 3:10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 "Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

 In these verses Jesus is going to get down to the heart of the matter.  Nicodemus is THE teacher of Israel and does not understand that he needs to be saved, how then can He speak of the greater things of Heaven.  Jesus will explain to Nicodemus how the serpent in the wilderness was a picture of Christ and His crucifixion.  He will also give us the most famous verse of all in 3:16 that tells us of God’s great love for us and how anyone who calls on Him for forgiveness of sins can be saved, if they would just be willing to believe and trust in Christ and Him alone.

Joh 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. ? how is he in heaven if he is with Nicodemus, what does son of man mean, why use it

It is the work of God’s Spirit, who sovereignly brings about new life (verses 7-8), and it is a work that comes “from above” (verses 13-15). Does Nicodemus believe in a heavenly kingdom? He certainly should, as did the Old Testament men and women of faith (see Hebrews 11:13-16). If anyone could ascend into heaven, they must first come down from heaven. It is a round trip, with heaven as the point of origin. Only the Son of Man can return to heaven, because this is where He came from (verse 13). This is why salvation is “from above.”

  1. The Necessities of the New birth
  1. Christ had to die

14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, serpent was lifted up, Jesus will be Numbers 21

The term “lifted up” has a double meaning. It can mean, literally, “lifted up,” but it also has the sense of exalting (see, for example, Matthew 11:23; 23:12; Acts 2:33). Our Lord was literally “lifted up” on a cross, but in the same breath we must also say He was “exalted” by being “lifted up” in this manner. His death on the cross also necessitated His being “lifted up” by His resurrection and ascension.

The story of the bronze serpent, recorded in Numbers 21, foreshadows the salvation which God will provide through the “Son of Man.” The Israelites had been complaining against God, grumbling about the journey and their apparent lack of food and water. They did not like the manna God gave them day after day. And so God sent fiery serpents among them, and many of those who were bitten died. God provided a salvation for this disobedient people, so that they might survive divine judgment. He instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent and to set it on a pole, so that anyone who was bitten by one of the serpents could merely look up at the serpent and be healed. This is precisely what happened. All who were bitten and looked up were healed.

This Old Testament provision for Israel’s healing is illustrative of the salvation God is about to accomplish through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. As the serpent was lifted up, and thus became a source of salvation, so the Son of Man must be “lifted up,” so that those who look up to Him in faith can be saved from God’s wrath as well. The snake-bitten Israelites were smitten of God for their sin. They deserved to die, and apart from His provision of the serpent, they would have. Those who did not look up to the bronze serpent died. The act of merely looking up to the bronze serpent was an act of faith. So far as the people could see, there was no direct link between the snake bite they had received and the healing for which they hoped. But it was the means God provided for their salvation. It was the means God declared through Moses. It was the one way God said His people could be saved. Those who looked to the bronze serpent were saved from the death they deserved.

In verses 14 and 15, Jesus connects the serpent, which is lifted up on a pole, with His own death at Calvary, when He is lifted up on the cross. Nicodemus asks how a man can be reborn from above.

  1. Necessary for the sinner to believe

 15 "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. Conditional Clause that. Believes and eternal life are in present tense, should not perish is future

Jesus first tells him by analogy; now He tells him more directly. If anyone is to be saved from the penalty of their sins, they must “look up” to Him for salvation. He, like the bronze serpent of old, will be “lifted up” on a cross, and He will later be “lifted up” in His resurrection and ascension. In so doing, He will be “lifted up” in another way—He will be exalted by God for His sacrificial obedience at Calvary. All those who “look up” to Him in faith, trusting in Him to remove the judgment for their sin, like the Israelites of old, will be saved.

Lessons

  • Who or what are you looking to for your salvation?
  • Who are you pointing people to?

 

23
May
2018

JOHN 3:3-12 JESUS EXPLAINS ABOUT THE WATER AND THE SPIRIT

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John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." 9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?" 10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 "Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

 Today we will go back a few verses to get the context of this section.  We will see Jesus speaking to Nicodemus about his eternal destiny.  The Pharisee’s were literalists, in other words they took everything too exact. When the Bible said to keep the Word before them always, they put little boxes with scripture in them and tied them to their head.  Nicodemus seems to be doing this, but as we get down to the end of this section we will see the real problem.  Jesus says how can you receive heavenly things if you will not believe the earthly things I tell you (cf: verse 12).  It all really comes down to disbelief and what we really want to believe or not believe.  Nicodemus will not believe, so he cannot receive eternal life.

It is a spiritual Birth

 7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' Moves to first person

It is a mysterious birth

Verse 8 what does it mean Joh 3:8 "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit, Play on words, wind pneuma, Spirit, pneuma?  Why use the wind as an analogy to the Spirit? How does hearing the wind and not knowing where it goes relate to. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit

Ezekiel 37 talks about the wind and spirit

It should be pointed out that the same Greek word (pneuma) is rendered both “wind” (John 3:8) and “spirit” (John 1:32-33; 3:5, 6, 8, 34) in the New Testament. In John 3:8, the term occurs twice; the first time it is rendered “wind,” the second time “Spirit.”

Jesus likens the saving work of God through His Spirit to the working of the wind. The effects of the wind can be seen, but the wind itself is not seen. Neither can the wind be controlled. The wind goes where it wishes and does what it will. Men do not control the wind. The Spirit’s saving work is like this. The Spirit goes about His life-giving work, and no man controls Him.  No one, by his own works, or striving, or manipulation can direct the Spirit in His work. But when the Spirit brings about the new birth, the effects are evident. We know it is the work of God’s Spirit, unseen and beyond man’s control. In this sense, neither Nicodemus nor anyone else can save themselves, nor anyone else for that matter. Salvation is the sovereign work of God, accomplished by the Holy Spirit.

Joh 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?" what things

In verses 4 and 9, Nicodemus asks two different questions, but both begin the same, “How is it possible …?”  He is so dumb-struck by what Jesus has told him that he cannot conceive of how our Lord’s words could be true. Nicodemus is so much a part of the natural world that he cannot fathom the possibility of anything spiritual and supernatural. In theory, the Pharisees believed in the miraculous (see Acts 23:6-8), but in practice Nicodemus appears to be anti-supernatural. Let’s face it, we do the same thing. We claim to believe God is in control, and that He is all-powerful, yet we often fail to live like it is true.

Teaching the Teacher of Israel About Spiritual Things (3:10-15)

 10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Know what, how to be saved, about the spirit?

Our Lord’s words are a gentle rebuke: “Can you really be the teacher in Israel and not grasp these things?” Nicodemus is not only a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, he is “the teacher of Israel” (verse 10). It is generally understood that the definite article here indicates that Nicodemus was the most prominent and respected teacher of his day. How could a renowned teacher of the Old Testament not know what Jesus is talking about? It seems incredible; indeed, it is. Notice the words of verse 12 in this regard. Jesus contrasts “earthly things” with “heavenly things.” He seems to place the things of which He has been speaking in the category of “earthly things.” “Heavenly things” would thus refer to those things associated with the coming kingdom of God, things presently beyond our comprehension. 

      How can Nicodemus, a teacher of the Old Testament law, not grasp those things the law teaches? The problem with mankind has always been with the heart (Genesis 8:21; Exodus 7:14; Deuteronomy 5:28-29; 8:14; Isaiah 29:13; Jeremiah 17:9), a problem which God alone can solve by giving men a new heart (Deuteronomy 30:6; Jeremiah 31:31-34). To be reborn by the Spirit of God makes one a new man (see 1 Samuel 10:6-13), and it is the Spirit who enables men to see such truths (see 1 Corinthians 2).

Paul carries this even a step further:

12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we behave with great boldness, 13 and not like Moses who used to put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from staring at the end of the glory that was fading away. 14 But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 But until this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; 16 but whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:12-18).

It is a real birth

 11 "Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen (what is meaning of), and you do not receive Our witness. We and Our in Caps

 John 3:11 "Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. We’s, why, then verse 12 goes back to If I have told you, singular in verses 3,5,7,beginning of 11,12

We speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen.” He then goes on to say, “… but you people do not accept our testimony.” The “you” is plural

Who is the “we” Jesus is speaking of, and who is the “you people”? The “we” seems to be John the Baptist and Jesus, both of whom have testified to what they have seen. The “we” might conceivably include the Old Testament prophets, though this is less likely. The “you people” is Nicodemus and his fellow-Pharisees.

      John bore witness to the coming of Messiah. The Pharisees sent a delegation to inquire of John just who he was and what his message might be (John 1:19-25). They obviously did not accept John’s testimony because they refused to be baptized by him (Luke 7:29-30). The Pharisees also assembled in large numbers, coming from all over the land of Israel to hear Jesus and to judge His message and ministry (Luke 5:17). They certainly did not submit to Jesus as their Messiah. Thus, the witness of both John and Jesus was rejected by the Pharisees.

Joh 3:12 "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? What does earthly things refer to, what earthly things did he tell him? Why does He say he does not believe?

Notice the words of verse 12 in this regard. Jesus contrasts “earthly things” with “heavenly things.” He seems to place the things of which He has been speaking in the category of “earthly things.” “Heavenly things” would thus refer to those things associated with the coming kingdom of God, things presently beyond our comprehension. 

He has borne witness to ‘earthly things’ without being believed. The simplest way of understanding this is to see a reference to the present discourse. It was taking place on earth and concerned a process with effects discernible on earth. In contrast with this, Jesus can impart ‘heavenly things,’ i.e. higher teaching. But if men like Nicodemus will not believe the simpler things they cannot be expected to believe what is more advanced.” Morris, p. 222

Joh 3:13 "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. ? How is he in heaven if he is with Nicodemus, what does son of man mean, why use it

It is the work of God’s Spirit, who sovereignly brings about new life (verses 7-8), and it is a work that comes “from above” (verses 13-15). Does Nicodemus believe in a heavenly kingdom? He certainly should, as did the Old Testament men and women of faith (see Hebrews 11:13-16). If anyone could ascend into heaven, they must first come down from heaven. It is a round trip, with heaven as the point of origin. Only the Son of Man can return to heaven, because this is where He came from (verse 13). This is why salvation is “from above.”

In this week’s message we want to ask you as Jesus asked Nicodemus are you willing to be saved?

16
May
2018

JOHN 3:1-6 NICODEMUS IS TOLD BY JESUS, YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN

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John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 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." 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

 In this powerful section of Scripture we will hear Nicodemus ask a question and Jesus will get to the heart of the matter of what is really needed by answering a question that was not asked.  We will also see what it really means to be born again; does it take baptism as some say (referring to the comment about being born of the water), communion, good works, keeping the commandments, joining a church?  No, so just how does one become born again?  Take a listen and you will find out what Jesus who is God in human flesh has to say.  For He is the one who really knows, since He is the one who created every single thing that has ever been created.

 The need for the new birth

John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. Because he was a Pharisee? Did that make him a ruler…A member of the Sanhedrin?

By his words, we can see that Nicodemus has a great respect for Jesus. Nicodemus calls Jesus “Rabbi.” No doubt this is the same title many used to address him, for he was a teacher of the law as well. He further refers to Jesus as “a teacher come from God.”

verse 2, This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know (why 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." why did he come by night? What does God is with him mean to a Pharisee? Didn’t really ask a question, made a statement

Has Nicodemus come as the official spokesman for the Pharisees? It is certainly possible, but it just does not seem to be the Pharisees’ style to act in such a secretive manner. In the cases above (John 1:19-25; Luke 5:17), the Pharisees make their moves very publicly, almost as though they intend to be seen. They wanted to be viewed as the accrediting agency for all those who taught the law.

I am inclined to think that Nicodemus is acting independently, without the sanction of the Pharisees. Why “we” then? Because Nicodemus is still a Pharisee, a member (and even a leader) of their organization. He thinks in terms of this system; his observations and preliminary conclusions are drawn as a Pharisee. When Nicodemus says “we,” this should suggest to us that at this point in his life, Nicodemus is still 100% Pharisee. Not until Nicodemus recognizes the failure of Pharisaism and renounces his faith in this religious system will he cast himself on Jesus alone for salvation. This is precisely what our Lord’s response is all about. Jesus seeks to show Nicodemus that his system of religion does not, and cannot, save anyone.

The “we” could also include the Jews more generally.

      Before we move to our Lord’s response, we should observe that Nicodemus is partly correct in his assessment of Jesus. Jesus is a “teacher come from God,” and God is “with Him” (verse 2). What Nicodemus does not know is that his words are even truer than he realizes. Jesus is literally a “teacher come from God.” He has come down to earth from the Father. And God is “with Him.” But Jesus is much greater than Nicodemus ever imagined at this moment in time. He is God, and He manifests the power of God in His teaching and working of signs. It will be some time yet before Nicodemus realizes the full truth of what he has just said. What he hears next catches him completely off guard.

The conversation which Nicodemus initiates, let us remember that Jesus is the focus. Nicodemus has not come to talk about himself or about Pharisaism. He has come to find out about Jesus, His message, and His relationship to God. What does Jesus have to say for Himself? Nicodemus opens the door by assuring Jesus that he sees Him as a man with a mission and a message from God. It is a perfect opener for Jesus. All He has to do is pick up from here and tell Nicodemus what His mission is. It doesn’t turn out at all as Nicodemus may have expected.

Our Lord’s words will stun Nicodemus. He begins by indicating to Nicodemus that the words He is about to speak convey a most solemn truth. He uses an expression unique to this Gospel, which in the King James Version is rendered, “Verily, verily …” Leon Morris sums up the impact of our Lord’s few words:

Then in one sentence He sweeps away all that Nicodemus stood for, and demands that he be re-made by the power of God.

Nicodemus’ brand of Judaism did not know anything of re-birth.  Quite frankly, the Pharisees thought one birth of the “right kind” was quite enough.

Matthew 3:7-10 7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit worthy of repentance! 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ because I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 10 Even now the ax is ready at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire”

Vs 2 signs you do, vs 3 I say to You

cannot Understand and see the things of God 1Co 2:14

V 3, Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he (why not You are uses third person) cannot see the kingdom of God." what does it mean he cannot see the kingdom? What is the kingdom?

Too many Jews, to be born a Jew was to be born into the kingdom of God. We know the Jews also believed that Gentiles are born “lost.” Even the Jerusalem church leaders had to be forcefully convinced that God had purposed the salvation of Gentiles (see Acts 10; 11:15-18), and even then, the practice of many Jewish believers did not match their profession (see Acts 11:19). Paul, likewise, hit hard at this point. All Israelites are not true Israelites (Romans 9:6). Those who trust in the atoning work of Jesus Christ for salvation are true Israelites, whether their racial origins are Jewish or Gentile (see Galatians 3:28; 6:16).

Imagine the shocked look on the face of Nicodemus when Jesus tells him that his natural birth (as a Jew) will not save him, and that he must be reborn from above. The implication is clear: Unless Nicodemus is reborn from above, he will not see the kingdom of God. Here is a man who thinks he has reserved seats on the 50 yard line of heaven. Jesus tells him that he is not even going to get into heaven as he is. He first must be born again, from above.

He cannot dunamai <dunamai> ou <ou> see eidw <eido> the kingdom basileia <basileia> of God. yeov <theos>

Verse 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"  Takes things too literally because he is a Pharisee?  Phylacteries, etc.

Nicodemus chooses to understand Jesus’ words literally, so that he assumes the expression “reborn from above” must refer to some kind of literal re-birth.

  1. The Nature of the New Birth or What It Means to Be Reborn From Above (3:5-8)

Verse 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one (why not You are uses third person) is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What does it mean born of the water and spirit Joh 1:13; Ga 6:15; Tit 3:5; Jas 1:18; 1Pe 1:23; 1Jo 3:9

The support for interpreting “water” in this way is less than compelling. Neither do I find it necessary for Jesus to argue the need for both physical birth and spiritual birth.

I am inclined to understand the terms “water” and “spirit” as one expression, “water and spirit,” which together refer to spiritual rebirth. There are several Old Testament texts which seem to justify the conclusion that both “water” and “spirit” refer to one’s spiritual rebirth:

3 “’For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring; 4 They will spring up among the grass Like willows by the watercourses.’ 5 One will say, ‘I am the LORD’s’; Another will call himself by the name of Jacob; Another will write with his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’ And name himself by the name of Israel” (Isaiah 44:3-5, NKJV).

24 “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (Ezekiel 36:24-27, NKJV).

This work of regeneration, is also described in the Old Testament as the work of the “wind”:

9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army (Ezekiel 37:9-10, NKJV).

The New Testament describes God’s work of salvation as the “washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit”:

3 For we too were once foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to various passions and desires, spending our lives in evil and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But “when the kindness of God our Savior appeared and his love for mankind, 5 He saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7).

James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.  22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does

John 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Why capitalize the first Spirit, but not the second one

 

 

9
May
2018

JOHN 3 INTRO THE CONVERSATION OF NICODEMUS WITH JESUS

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John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 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." 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

 In this section of scripture we will see Nicodemus the ruler of the Jews does not even know how to be saved and get to heaven.  The real point of this message is do you know how to be saved?  Today the Gospel has been so confused just as it was in Jesus day and people believe all kinds of things will get you into heaven, but Jesus said I Am the Way, The Truth, and The Life and no one gets to the Father, but by Me.  What are you trusting in to get you to heaven, good works or a relationship with Jesus and the Father?

Nicodemus is the “cream of the Jewish crop.” One dare not dream of having life any better than he has it. He is a Jew, a Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin (the highest legal, legislative and judicial body of the Jews), and a highly respected teacher of the Old Testament Scriptures. Can you imagine being Nicodemus and having Jesus tell you that all of this is not enough to get you into the kingdom of God? Yet this is precisely what Jesus tells Nicodemus. If a man like Nicodemus is not good enough for the kingdom of God, then who is? That is the question, and Jesus has the answer, which John records for us. Let us listen well to the inspired words of this Gospel to learn how one must enter the kingdom of God.

For the moment, suppose you are a renowned pianist, trained by the finest concert pianist the world has ever known. When you perform, crowds gather to listen. Everyone hails you as the master in your area of musical expertise. Now suppose some young man comes along who grew up in the Ozarks and who never had a piano lesson in his life, but simply taught himself to play on a broken-down instrument in his grandmother’s house. When this hillbilly musician comes to town, his talent is discovered, and people throng to hear him perform. When he does, tears come to the eyes of those in his audience. You too listen to him play. You, better than anyone else, recognize in him a musical genius that you have never had and that you never will. When you hear him play, you wish you had his abilities.

I believe this is the way Nicodemus must have felt about Jesus. Nicodemus is a Pharisee who is at the top of his field. Not only is he a member of the Sanhedrin, he is the most renowned Bible teacher of his day, of first century Jerusalem. Yet when he hears Jesus teach, he hears the answers to questions that have bothered him for years. He watches the crowds as they listen to Jesus, and he knows he has never held the attention of an audience like Jesus does. Jesus speaks in simple terms, but His message has great power. Nicodemus observes the miracles Jesus performs, knowing he has never performed so much as one miracle. By nearly any standard, Nicodemus does not hold a candle to Jesus.

3
May
2018

JOHN 2.23-25 THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE BY JESUS PART 2

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John 2:23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.

 In the second part of Jesus Cleansing the Temple we will hear the third and last reason in this section that John will show us why Jesus is God.  This is the fact that He knows the heart of man and what is in it. Only God knows man and what he is and what he is truly capable of doing in his wickedness. Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.  Jesus will not commit to these people because he knows theirs is not a real belief in Him.  In the next section of scripture we will listen to the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus and see how he is an example of chapter 2, verses 24 and 25.