Born Again 2
John 3:1-10: There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother*s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
These were the words of Jesus TO Nicodemus. They are FOR us. Nicodemus made a statement. He had not even asked a question but Jesus gave him the answer he needed. We, like Nicodemus, do not even know the questions we need to ask of God. We do not normally know that we need something from God. Even if we do know that we need something from Him we often do not know what it is. He knows what we need and provides it. He is our Creator and He has the blueprint.
Nicodemus was like a vacuum waiting to be filled by Jesus. Before we receive Christ we are all just like Nicodemus in that regard. People who reject Christ are like a vacuum that is empty or a container filled with something else.
Nicodemus proved he knew that Jesus was from God because he said no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Nicodemus may not have personally witnessed Jesus* miracles. He had probably been told about them. We don*t ordinarily see miracles either. But we can also know that some people represent God because of what they do. We may not see what they do. We may only hear about it or read about it.
Nicodemus was a leader in Israel but he had not been born again. I believe we have many leaders of churches in our time that have not been born again. Some of them see the actions of leaders who have been born again and try to imitate them. Until they become born again there is always something missing. Until we become born again there is always something missing.
I believe Nicodemus was born again during that meeting with Christ. When anyone comes to Christ in faith he becomes born again.
John 6:37: All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
There is much evidence that Nicodemus was born again. We usually hear more about the 12 disciples than we do about Nicodemus. But Nicodemus did some things that none of them could do for Jesus. He defended Jesus before other leaders of Israel when they wanted to capture Him.
John 7:38-49: He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him. And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.
Nicodemus may have been the only Pharisee that believed on Jesus. He took a stand for Jesus even though he was outnumbered. They said that people that don*t know the law were cursed. Jesus had told Nicodemus that those that had not been born again were cursed. Nicodemus knew the truth.
John 7:50-52: Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.
Nicodemus did something else that none of Jesus* disciples could do. He helped bury the body of Jesus.
John 19:38-40: And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
Being born again is not something that we do. It is something that happens to us. It is something that God does to us and for us. It is something that God gives to us. God puts a new and different kind of life in us. God gave us our physical life and He gives us eternal and spiritual life. Saved, adopted or converted are other words that describe it. They all speak of something that is done to us by someone else.