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?