John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
- Unknown back for sure, but from the Talmud be may be Nicodemus ben Gurion and himself had miraculous powers.
- Pharisee: political party, social movement and school of thought. It's remnant became what is Rabinnic Judaism today. They were set apart from the Sadducees as against Greek influences, the acceptance of all the Law including oral, but they did accept the idea of the Resurrection. (This is key to Nicodemus' story because to be "born-again" implies hat there is a Resurrection).
- Ruler of the Jews (member of the Sanhedrin): The assembly of 23-71 men in every city in the Land of Israel. The Sanhedrin were patterned after the Judges of old times. The Great Sanhedrin were the leaders and include a president, chief of court and an assembly.
This commentary is not a out Nicodemus though, it's about being "born-again"!
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus by night?
Did Nicodemus recognize Jesus as Savior?
Should he have?
Do you think Jesus is recognized by most as Savior or teacher even today?
Nicodemus recognized that Jesus performed miracles? (This reinforces the idea that this may have been Nicodeus ben Gurion who himself was a miracle worker).
Nicodemus knew that his miracles where tricks. He understood that Jesus was the real deal. Did Nicodemus come to learn about God or did he come to learn how to do miracles?
Are there false miracle workers today? (Faith healers prosperity ministry, positive talk ministries)
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Jesus said this? Do you suppose it's truth?
Did Jesus immediately know Nicodemus' heart?
Was Nicodemus sincere in his quest to know Jesus or was it to learn how to do miracles?
Since the subject at hand is about miracles, is being "born again" a miracle?
What does "born again" literally mean? (from the Greek "born from above)?
What is the relationship between kingdom of God and "born again"? One cannot be a citizen of God's realm without first being spiritually born to qualify for citizenship.
Where is the kingdom of God? (Wherever God reigns).
Where does God reign? In the hearts of those born again!
Heaven as where God sits on his throne where only "good" can be. To enter there one must be glorified (made perfect). Those born again, but not yet glorified after death are honorary citizens of God's kingdom. At death there spirit will be full citizens of God's kingdom, and when they are resurrected their bodies will be as well. We should have joy awaiting that time!
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Did Nicodemus understand what it takes to be born again? Do you?
Jesus explains further:
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
See "Herrin Daily Blog" on "Born-Again" at this link: BORN AGAIN .
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
What are we when we're born? flesh
When we're born again what are we? spirit (soul at creation, what happened to it, what it is full of at birth and at salvation)
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
What is Jesus saying about the Spirit? It's there, we "hear" him, but we don't know his way.
What does that say about those who were born-again's spirit? We have the Holy Spirit with us.
Jesus is talking and has yet to ascend? The Holy Ghost came after his ascension. The Comforter had not come. How could it be that at this time those born-again got the Holy Spirit?
Spirit is God's essence and Holy Ghost is the specific spirit of Jesus.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which 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 whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
How do we avoid destruction and have eternal life? Lift up Jesus!
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Why? God loves the world.
What did he do? Made a one time sacrifice for you, his most and only beloved son.
To whom is salvation available? Whosoever... everybody!
What is the requirement? belief.
Since even the demons believe, is there something else? pisteou in the Greek TRUST
How are we to trust Jesus? Believe that because he died for us and was Resurrected that we can be as well.
How do those who do not believe perish? The Second Death! After the body dies and the heart judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, then the soul will die. It will be a living death forever.
What happens to the person who has everlasting life? Be like Jesus. Glorified in a perfect body without sin forever!
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Why was Jesus born? To save us! That we all MIGHT be saved.
What does "might" imply? We have a choice. Our fate is on our own shoulders.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
What will condemn men? Unbelief. Belief is something gained. If one never seeks it out, they are condemned by their negligence!
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
When are we "born again"? When we trust Jesus through his "Light" (truth). At the moment we become enlightened we are "born-again". It's when we realize that we can't save ourselves and that only Jesus' blood will save, and trust that it does!