Conversations in the night
John 3: 3-12 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 4 “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!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 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.” 9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 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. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
Nicodemus was a powerful Pharisee, a member of the highest Jewish authority. But he was seeking and he eventually found a true conversion experience.
He is a saint in the eyes of the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic believers.
What brought Nicodemus to Jesus that night? He was at the pinnacle of his career, highly respected, what did he want? Why did he seek out this miracle-worker who had just offended the elite by clearing out the Temple?
We don’t often think of him as a person but we hone in on just a couple of things Jesus said to him about being ‘Born again’ and the famous John 3 verse 16 memory verse.
Here are some thoughts for us to ponder:
- Nicodemus must have been around 60 years of age and Jesus was approximately 30 years of age. He knew he didn’t have the monopoly on knowledge. He never stopped learning.
- Nicodemus had to learn something new. Most of our learning is a development of previous positions but he had to receive something that was never there. It was the Gentiles who had to be reborn into the faith of Judaism if they wanted to convert. It was them who had to be baptised to remove all the filth of Gentileness off them. That was the conversion. No Jew ever needed conversion. It was a million miles away from their thinking, their belief and their culture. He had to accept correction.
Can we be corrected? Can we be wrong in an area of teaching and practice?
- Nicodemus was born in the right family. He was a child of Abraham. It couldn’t get more perfect. He had achieved a high level education and leadership position. But Jesus told him he needed to start again, to be born-again and importantly born from above.
Are you as thankful as I am for many opportunities to start again with the gift from above?
- Nicodemus had spent his whole life soaked in teaching and knowledge. Jesus said to him that he want going to be his rabbi, giving him more education but He was here to give him life.
Is Jesus still your life-giver today?
- Nicodemus belonged to another kingdom and Jesus spoke of another. Jesus told him there was a culture, a realm, a sphere of life that was poles apart from the kingdom of man that he was part of.
Are we still seekers of that kingdom today?
- Nicodemus belonged on earth and it is a small world even though we think we have advanced in many ways. Jesus spoke to him of heavenly things that were bigger than his experiences. God and His kingdom is huge.
Look up into the sky can you touch a star? Can you count them? The problems in our corner of this small world are small and we need to realise where we are sitting today, in the heavenly places.