John 3: 1 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee.2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” 3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,[you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” 4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” 5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” 9 “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked. 10 Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12 But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven.14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
Jesus had a stalker he had to deal with and that stalker was also a seeker who wanted to know what the so-called Messiah had to say. In asking his questions he said “Rabbi, we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” “We all know!” Hmmm. Who is the WE? Since Nicodemus was a Jewish religious leader, who was a Pharisee, we know that He was part of a group that doubted the authenticity of Jesus being the promised Messiah. This group was the same group Jesus said resembled” white washed tombs” in Matthew 23:27. Here is what awaited them in verse 27“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.
Back to Nicodemus. He said he wanted an explanation, but it makes me wonder if he could handle the “truth” at all. Cause Jesus proceeded to “blow his mind” in verse 3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Nicodemus is like so many in the Christian faith who have not had a true encounter with God where repentance is real, sins are forgiven, and abundant life enters in. The Bible calls it redemption and it is found evident in the changes that take place in a person’s life. We don’t become religious when we accept Jesus, we become “born again.” NO LONGER THE SAME!! NEW BIRTH!!! The old has passed away and BEHOLD, all things are new!! Perhaps your experience with Jesus has not been a new birth, but an “observing” Him from arm’s length. Well…. that experience doesn’t save. It fact that kind of experience just disillusions a person and gives them a false hope that is not born again. This born again is not a human thing. It is a spiritual transformation!! Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
The custom of those religious leaders was to make the teachings of the Jewish law to fit their understanding of what they thought God wanted. The big problem for them was the Word of God was in their midst and teaching pure truth that couldn’t be compromised or corrupted. Talk about throwing a wrench into their plans!! So Nicodemus is “stalking” Jesus to get a clearer explanation just in case he is the promised Messiah. I say stalking because he came after it was dark to visit the light of the world. Get that! Then Jesus throws a “truth bomb” that confounded this Jewish leader and he had to confront his lack of spiritual understanding of God’s Holy Plan. I remember speaking to a group of people about how we need the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us in our life and some old church leader came up to me and said “what does all that mean?” He thought it was some kind of inaccurate teaching about Jesus and what accepting Him can do to a life. What he was saying was that he had never experienced anything like that before and in reality he was admitting he had never been born again!! Just because he was a “leader” in the church he was in it didn’t nullify the truth that being born again is a must. Look at verse 7 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again. A person who has never been born again may be surprised to find out they don’t have a relationship with Jesus and that they are just “church members.” Without being born again they will not enter heaven, but will be bound for hell without the saving faith required and explained to Nicodemus by the Son of God. The Night Stalker got a dose of light when Jesus told him the inner workings of what salvation is and what it does. He came in the dark and found light. At the time Nicodemus couldn’t see that he would become a believer and actually bring spices and ointment to anoint the body of Jesus after his crucifixion. Nicodemus helped Joseph of Arimathea take Jesus off the cross and prepare Him for burial. Matthew 19:39 states it this way 38 Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away.39 With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.
The Night Stalker converted by the Light of the World!!!
The Pilgrimage continues…..