June 18, 2000

John 3:1-17 (CEV)

There was a man named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a Jewish leader. One night he went to Jesus and said, "Sir, we know that God has sent you to teach us. You could not work these miracles, unless God were with you."

Jesus replied, "I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God's kingdom!"

Nicodemus asked, "How can a grown man ever be born a second time?"

Jesus answered: " I tell you for certain that before you can get into God's kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit. Humans give life to their children. Yet only God's Spirit can change you into a child of God. Don't be surprised when I say that you must be born from above. Only God's Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going."

"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.

Jesus replied: "How can you be a teacher of Israel and not know these things? I tell you for certain that we know what we are talking about because we have seen it ourselves. But none of you will accept what we say. If you don't believe when I talk to you about things on earth, how can you possible believe if I talk to you about things in heaven?

"No one has gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from there. And the Son of Man must be lifted up. just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert. Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life.

"God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them!


1. What affirmations and questions do you have about Jesus? Nicodemus started with his affirmation -- "God sent you to teach us." Then he gets into reasons for that in regard to "miracles."

2. Jesus moves Nicodemus from miracles of water to wine and walking away from throwing the merchants from the temple to the miracle which stands behind these miracles -- the miracle of finding out one is GOD's child -- not only born out of a progression of genetic material (water) but born purposely (spirit). What you understand about yourself will be the stuff from which you will live. Are you biology running down or spirit building up? How do these two interact?

3. So you claim to be a seeker after truth. So you claim to already be a Christian. What do you know and not know about such matters? On what basis do you know and claim what you know and claim? To not wrestle with such matters is to live below, and not from above. Happy wrestling.

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