John 3:7-15

John 3:7-15 has Nicodemus continuing to be schooled by Jesus on how to be born again.  “So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God”.  Jesus is  pretty matter of fact about it.  You have to be born again  – born of water and the spirit.  This rebirth is a supernatural thing.

“Nicodemus was amazed at this statement, because he – like most all Jews of his time – believed they already had the inner transformation promised in the New Covenant. Jesus wants him to understand that he does not have it, and must be born again.  That is the only way to get to heaven.  “Nicodemus asked, “What do you mean by this? How does this happen?”  Nicodemus still doesn’t get it.  “Jesus said, You’re a respected teacher of Israel and you don’t know these basics? Listen carefully. I’m speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay”.  Jesus makes it clear that this isn’t a theory or suggestion.  It is the full and only truth.

He scolds Nicodemus as a teacher of the law and a leader of the Pharisees about how slow he is to understand. “Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don’t believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can’t see, the things of God”?  Jesus challenges Nicodemus about his understanding and logic.  It is plain as day in Jesus mind, but cloudy as can be for Nicodemus.  So Jesus  takes another run at it.

No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life”.  Jesus makes it clear that He can speak authoritatively about things in heaven, though no one else can. He alone has been with God, been sent by God, and will make a way for all of us who believe to come to God.  He alone is the source of real life, eternal life.  There is no other way.

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