Spiritual Rebirth and Spiritual Sight

Posted by admin on 18 September 2022 in James, John, Luke, Matthew |

John 3:1–3 (NIV 2011)

1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’

3 Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’

I. Nicodemus (1)

See v1.

1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.

The Pharisees were a Jewish social movement and a school of thought [1]. There were around 6,000 of them near AD 70, after which their beliefs became the basis for Rabbinic Judaism [1]. Other Jewish sects were the Sadducees, the Essenes and the Zealots (= the Sikarim) [2].

The Jewish ruling council was called Sanhedrin [3]. One Great Sanhedrin of 71 members acted as the Supreme Court [3].

 II. He came to Jesus (2a)

See v2.

2 He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’

The fact Nicodemus came to Jesus shows

  • The Father drew Nicodemus to Jesus (John 6:44a).
  • Nicodemus has heard the Father and learned from him (John 6:45).

If someone listens to Jesus, that indicates

  • He/she is His sheep (John 10:27). They belong to God (John 8:47).
  • He/she is on the side of truth (John 18:37)

III. Believing but not reborn (2b)

Nicodemus confessed his faith that Jesus had come from God. Then, should we now entrust spiritual leadership to Nicodemus as a ‘believer’? Well, Never. Jesus shows Nicodemus was not spiritually reborn yet in v3. Jesus showed that there was a difference between ‘expressing their belief’ and ‘spiritually reborn’. Someone who expresses his/her belief could still never be reborn! This may be a reason why John 2:24 was written to tell us Jesus didn’t believe everyone’s believing [4] (https://comnc.org/jesus-who-knows-what-is-in-each-person).

James 2:19 says

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

John 1:13 shows the three conditions of being born of God (https://www.tiktok.com/@yongjoojohnpark/video/7012184323755363585?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7144539582473930242). We can continue to find more about the rebirth in John 3:1-21.

Even if someone who had expressed his/her belief was a member of a church for decades, he/she could be still not reborn.

IV. Spiritual Rebirth and Spiritual Sight (3)

See v3.

3 Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’

If someone is not spiritually reborn, he/she is spiritually blind. What happens if someone spiritual blind becomes a leader? See Luke 6:39.

He also told them this parable: ‘Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?

See Matthew 7:21.

‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Jesus has seen God (John 6:46) and sees what the Father does and does whatever the Father does (John 5:19).

See Matthew 5:8.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

References

[1] Pharisees. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharisees

[2] The Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and the Zealots. URJ Heller High School. https://hellerhigh.org/2017/03/10/pharisees-sadducees-essenes-zealots/

[3] Sanhedrin. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanhedrin

[4] Borcher, Gerald L. The New American Commentary: John 1-11.

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