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August 7, 2022 6:00 am
Jesus knew the fox in the hearts of all men need anybody to testify man knew what was in them. So here comes Nicodemus.
Jesus knows what is thinking about the kingdom and he comes and says some nice things in Jesus is. I know you might come here for what really need and what your heart is fine for dual what was your weekend division. John 316 is a great life-changing. But there's more. The stored effect by taking a closer look at everything that surrounds that famous quote about your sponsor ways to share it even more effectively Skip Heitzig examines the conversation that took place around that famous verse and how it's context is almost as important as the verses.
But first let's see what's going on with the correct was Skip resource Center this month. Like his heart and the harsh but accurate philosophy into this gentle encouragement. But, that's right, in the most difficult to consensus God can intervene as he did for Joseph Joe, the resurrection of Jesus here Skip I think the fact there may not be two more hopeful words than these two words but God because they point us to the great interrupter, one who can powerfully and graciously interrupt our live with his plans and change our lives forever help you understand some of the Bible's most profound moment. You can have more hope for change in your life.*It's 10 message teaching theories that God our thanks $35 and more today to help connect more people to the only one can radically change a life.
But God CD collection today. You get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer or call 892 1888 John chapter 3, which is will be for today's study find that spot skip. I did get started today with a loaded story of the earth's creation on the first day God created the cow God said you must go to the field with the farmer all day long suffer under the hot sun have calves and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a lifespan of 60 years. The cow said that's kind of a tough life you want me to have for 60 years. Let me have 20 years, and I'll get back the other 40 God agreed on the second day God created the dog and he said sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a lifespan of 20 years. The dog said will that's too long to be barking about.
If you give me 10 years and I'll give you back the other 10 so side God agreed on the third day God created the monkey God said entertain people do monkey tricks make them laugh. I'll give you a 20 year lifespan monkey said how boring to do monkey tricks for 20 years. Dog gave you back 10. That's what I'd like to do. Okay God agreed again on the fourth day God created man God said eat, sleep, play and enjoy do nothing. Just enjoy enjoy enjoy and I'll give you 20 years, and man said what only 20 years. Tell you what, I'll take my 20 and the 40. The cow gave back and attend the dog gave back and attend the monkey gave back that makes 80 okay okay God said you got a deal. So that is why, for the first 20 years we eat, sleep, play, enjoy and do nothing. And for the next 40 years we slave in the sun to support our family for the next 10 years we do monkey tricks to entertain our grandchildren and for the last 10 years. We sit in front of the house and bark at everybody.
Which leads me to a question. How happy are you with your life. A New York study group discovered that most Americans admit to not being happy with their present life. You imagine having a whole new life, a brand-new life.
A do over a fresh start.
What takes us to John chapter 3 the most famous chapter in the Bible everybody who's anybody knows John 316. The most famous verse in Scripture, but the conversation that spawned that verse is a conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus and it happened at night. That's why the name of my message tongue-in-cheek is Nick at night.
Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night when I gave my life to Christ. I had not ever heard of the term born-again. It's because I never read John three I had the term had not been popularized and politicized, but I did know that after I prayed to receive Christ. I felt something I had never felt before I can put it into words.
It was like it was like a burden had been lifted and carried away about a week after that, a friend who did not know of my conversion walked up to me got right in my face and said hi. Take have you been born again and I said where did you get that he's a get what I said that phrase you just said born-again civil Jesus said you must be born again. Have you and I said dude that's perfect. That is the perfect description of what happened to me that's what it felt like I felt like I've been born again. I've never read that verse I had never heard that phrase, but when I did hear it for the first time I thought that captures perfectly the transformation that is occurred in my life I've been given a whole new life, but try explaining that your parents. I tried this and what happened to you. I said I been born again didn't go over that well because they just does that mean you're a Protestant now when I think of the story of Nicodemus. I think of a friend of mine you've heard of before. Marty gets his common played on many occasions and you know he sings that one song about his own transformation he says hallelujah to Yeshua from a Jew who never knew you.
I think of Nicodemus, he did know the Lord. Yet, but he was on a journey there. Now when you look at the first eight verses of John chapter 3 today part of this conversation really the dialogue part of the conversation next week. Look at the discourse were Jesus does most all of the talk, but there's three different levels of this conversation three different conditions. The first one is curiosity. There's a spiritual curiosity that drives Nicodemus to even meet with Jesus, followed by the second level eternal necessity. Jesus tells him what he needs more than anything else in life and finally Jesus will close with an illustration I'm calling that observable activity will explain as we go. But let's look at the first, the curiosity, the spiritual curiosity verse one there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, Rabbi, we know you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with them three words that describe Nicodemus. He was religious. He was rich and he was a ruler and explain Nicodemus is a Greek name. Though he was a Jewish man that was not all that uncommon. His name means ruler are Victor over the people. One who rules over the people. The Talmud tells us that Nicodemus was one of four of the richest men in the city of Jerusalem.
Later on will see that he pays for them in the aloes to bring to the tomb of Jesus to bury him. He was a wealthy man. He was a Pharisee and history also tells us that it was Nicodemus's son, who later on will negotiate with the Romans. The terms of Jewish surrender in 70 A.D. before the destruction of that city.
Very very famous man spiritually verse one. He was a Pharisee and that's that ultra-Orthodox group of Jewish people there only 6000 of the time of Christ very strict, very serious about keeping the law and fact, they belong to what they called the hobbled the brotherhood and the brotherhood of the Pharisees was entered into by a solemn pledge with three witnesses observing was a pledge to keep all of the law, all of one's life. Now when we hear the term the law, you think, and I think of the first five books of Moses of the Bible. The tour keeping the tour the law, but to a Pharisee they had added more regulations and rituals called the oral law is an example in the Bible, the Old Testament, there's only about three paragraphs the talk about the Sabbath day law laws for the Sabbath day Saturday what to do, what not to do only three paragraphs, but there was something called the mission that was added. This was the codified scribal law, 24 chapters of the Mishnah are devoted to laws keeping the Sabbath. Then there was something called the Talmud. These are rabbinical commentaries on the Mishnah. It came later on in the longest of the two Talmuds was the Babylonian Talmud 156 folio size double pages of regulations and keeping the Sabbath so it wasn't enough to say don't work on the Sabbath don't carry a burden on the Sabbath.
They needed that specify you just a short example where you can carry a burden on the Sabbath, but they would say what is a burden and so the rabbi said should equal in weight to a dried fig enough wine for mixing in a goblet enough milk for one swallow enough honey to put on a wound enough oil to anoint a small member enough water to moisten. And I said have enough paper to write a customs house notice.
Upon or enough Inc. to write two letters of the alphabet. If you did that you are bearing the burden and you are breaking the Sabbath law and they would have endless discussions and arguments about can you lift a lamp on the Sabbath is at a burden is at work.
Can you carry a child on the sap is that work could you wear artificial teeth on the Sabbath. Would that be bearing the burden they would write about this stuff is even a whole discussion in the Jewish writings about what you do if your hand lays an egg on the Sabbath.
What you do.
I mean you can eat it. That's eating something that was done that produced work on the Sabbath. So the only solution they really came up with is what you can sell it to a Gentile, so number one you get money from a number two. He didn't count anyway. One person said you could eat the egg that was laid by the hand on the Sabbath. If you intend to kill the chicken. The next day because it broke the law breaking this out. It was ridiculous.
That was the Pharisee group. They were sworn to keep the law. The written law and the oral law that is been codified.
That's Nicodemus religiously. He was a Pharisee. Politically, there's a phrase in verse one.
Here's a ruler of the Jews are calm is the Greek word it. It designates a special class of the 70 member ruling council known as the sand had this guy was a big dog in Jerusalem. One of the chief leaders of the nation. The third finger describes him as he was a teacher. Verse 10 Jesus said, aren't you the teacher in Israel. Notice it says that teacher not a teacher. In other words you you are in that special class now.
History tells us that Nicodemus was one of the most famous sought after lecturers on the law in Jerusalem.
So there's a guy from the Who's Who of Jerusalem paying visit on Jesus says that he came in verse two at night. Why become at night. I don't know how much speculation people write about why he came at night people say Willie came out of fear because you want to be seen.
Maybe or he came because of her secret sin in his life. And so we came at night, maybe, but didn't say why this is you came at night and I would make a huge deal out of it. I tend to think you came at night just for some quality alone time. The rabbis used to say the best time to study and to discuss the tour is at night, your undistracted Jesus and crowds of people around them by day Nicodemus is Lotta busy schedule to keep religiously during the day so he came at night for just some some quality undisturbed time for an interview. Really the important thing isn't that he came to Jesus at night. Important thing is that he came in all he came in so to make a big deal and castigating him for coming at night he came. That's funny how some people want to alarm get down on those who would come to Jesus for what they call the wrong motivation when you're coming out of fear we are coming because you had a divorce you're coming because you're in physical pain or you're at the end of your rope so who cares why a person comes were just glad that they do come, and it just happens to be that when you're in a time of pain or distress, or loneliness, you're aware of your need. At that time, more than any other time. You always had the need is one aware of it. Then, but now you are now you know that you need someone greater than yourself. That's when many people come to Christ were just glad that they come.
Notice that Nicodemus calls Jesus rabbi at the turn of politeness.
In fact, is a term of equality. He saying I recognize you as somebody on my level rabbi. Now he was wrong about that.
Of course Jesus was far more than a rabbi. He certainly was not an equal with Nicodemus. He was far greater Nicodemus that know that you choices, rabbi and notice the plural pronoun. We know not.
I know we know whose we did have a mouse in his pocket. As you talk about. He's probably not representing the whole counsel of the 70 elders, the Sanhedrin, but he's speaking about himself and perhaps a few others, like Joseph of Arimathea who would be sympathetic with Jesus because of the signs and perhaps perhaps this would be the Messiah. So he says and is again very very polite. We know that you are a teacher come from God, for nobody can do these signs are you doing as God is with them. Whatever is wrong. Jesus wasn't a teacher come from God.
Moses would be a teacher come from God. Jeremiah, Isaiah, those would be teachers come from God. Jesus was far more than a teacher come from God.
He was God who would come to teach. But again, he did know that yet, but this illustrates how a lot of people deal with Jesus. They will recognize him like this. But their answer as to describe him falls far short of his true identity.
Jesus though. He's a good person. I believe he was a good person. He was a good teacher. He was a great example.
True, but he was far more than that he was and is God and Nicodemus will be leading toward that in this conversation before it's over what is on his mind. Why does he come to Jesus.
He's thinking like all Pharisees thought about the kingdom he spiritually curious member Jesus had been in Jerusalem all week at Passover doing signs and miracles every knew about them. Nicodemus heard about them. Maybe even saw a couple, maybe even her Jesus teach and he was attracted by. Imagine yourself as a concert piano player you been trained by Juilliard school of music you have musical degrees. You're a PhD in music and you can play you been trained to play so beautifully.
After years and years of hard work.
So when you play. People come to watch you one day I country bumpkin blows into town who has never had a single lesson in his life.
He displayed his grandpa's piano in the in the Ozarks somewhere and he comes to town. He starts playing piano and you listen to this and you recognize this person is genius to know where he learned to play like that when he plays. I am moved to tears and everybody who hears him is moved emotionally at sort of what it was like for Nicodemus is schooled cultured leader of the Jews watching and listening to Jesus he had never heard truth like that he had never seen anything like this. It was like water was poured on his parched soul.
He wanted to know more and so he came curiosity brought them brings a lot of people brought me. I was channel surfing one afternoon when I watched Billy Graham on television and afterwards prayed to receive Christ. But I remember watching that I was just curious. I thought, look at all those people in that stadium. I wonder why so many are coming to this thing curious and when people left their seats and walked out onto the field to pray to receive Christ.
I thought I wonder why they're doing that and I wonder what they expect to see, and I was curious and that drew me in draws Nicodemus and that's the first stage the first level spiritual curiosity. The second is eternal necessity for you notice in verse three Jesus answered and said to him, most assuredly, or verily, verily, if you got the old King Jimmy literally. It's amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Notice Jesus wastes no time with formalities in a Nicodemus comes his polite cousin rabbi.
We know that your teacher come from God. You do all these miracles, Jesus didn't say all you like those miracle they were pretty good, but I've heard a lot of good things about you to Nicodemus.
He cut disses right off the bat. Assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of another. It sounds like he's not even talking in the same conversation. What is what Nicodemus saying have anything to do with the kingdom of God is because Jesus is answering the question.
Nicodemus never asked with his mouth but was in his heart, and it actually makes perfect sense when you read it in the context of what we read last week as it is all in the same context. Jesus knew the fox in the hearts of all men. He did need anybody to testify man he knew it was in them. So here comes Nicodemus. Jesus knows what is in them is thinking about the kingdom and he comes and says some nice things in Jesus, just as Nicodemus, I know you might've come here for teaching, but what you really need and what your heart is crying for is a do over. Unless a man is born again by the way whatever Jesus wanted to get your attention and and as if to say, I listen very carefully to the next few words he would say most assuredly very important was it was important because Nicodemus is destiny will hang on how he listens to what Jesus says and how he responds everything you know it's always helpful to get the proper context. That's no less true for the Bible's most quoted verse John 316, the whole conversation Nicodemus had with Jesus can help us to better understand what the verse says, but also how we can be more effective in sharing it with others. That's all the time we have for today but before we go. If you'd like a copy of today's study. It's available in CD for just four dollars plus shipping. When you call us at 1-800-922-1888 when you visit connectwithskip.com also want to remind you that it's because of the support of listeners like you were even able to bring you these daily studies without your help getting these teachings from Skip on the radio just wouldn't be possible. Find out how when you write us at PO Box 95707, Albuquerque, NM 87199 will continue to learn more about John 316 context of her next letter so I hope you can set aside some time to join right here Skip weekend edition connection