Part Eight. Jesus Teaching continues, Conversation with Nicodemus
Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin [the Jewish council] he is to appear later and play a large part in Jesus’s trial and eventual execution and in doing so fulfils Isaiah’s prophecy.
John chapter three verse 1 to 21
Conversation with Nicodemus
1 Now a certain man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling council, came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time, can he?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, “You must all be born from above. The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus replied, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things? I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. If I have told you people about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God.
Many people read this and immediately jump on the section, “The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.”
The above is used by certain Christians to argue the fact that only Christians will get into get into heaven all the rest are condemned already. Certain Muslims have a similar belief. Only if you believe in Allah and that Mohammed is his prophet. You must pray 5 times a day, only washing in a correct way prior to praying and then praying in a correct manner. Only by doing to this will you be accepted by Allah. God will, also condemn the rest of mankind, including those Muslims who do not pray and carry out ablutions in the correct manner.
In doing so are saying my God is better then your God. No one will really know [they may believe it] but until we die we won’t know, for certain.
The point most people miss is that Nicodemus believed that Jesus has come from God, [“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.”]
Yet he [Nicodemus] came secretly to Jesus, afraid that is position within the Jewish hierarchy would be challenged. How comfortable is it to go along with your group, toeing the group line, and not thinking too much about what the group does. You might believe that the other group may have a point and accept that your group is not infallible, but most of us are to fixed in our ways, or are too frightened of what members of our group may say or do?
So 2000 years later and we are still in the same position as Nicodemus, with similar fears.