v. 1 ruler of the Jews – Member of Sanhedrin
chief priests, scribes (Pharisees), elders
v. 10 teacher of Israel – probably a scribe/Pharisee
Jn 7:48-50 Pharisees criticizing Jesus – Nicodemus – should hear him
I. Came By Night
A. Need for secrecy
1. Worried he was taking wrong side?
2. Should he try to turn leadership toward Jesus?
3. Worried about risking his position?
C. Anyone you don’t want to know about your relationship with God?
1. Lk 9:26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
D. Christianity Requires Risk
1. Mt 19:29–30 “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. 30“But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.
2. Lk 14:26 If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
3. What would you be willing to risk – to lose if necessary?
a. Family relationships, job, status in society?
II. Jesus Focuses on Entry Into Kingdom
A. 3 unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.
1. Ignores Nicodemus’ conflict, worry, risks
B. Jesus says kingdom is only important thing
1. Mt 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
2. Mk 9:47 “If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell,
C. 5 born of water and the Spirit
1. Complete reshaping of life
2. Basketball coach who didn’t want to give up drinking
3. 2 Co 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
4. Ro 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
A. Physical rather than spiritual
1. V. 4 go back into mother’s womb?
2. V. 5 born of water and the Spirit – not flesh but spirit
3. Col 2:11–12 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
B. Difficult to understand
1. Jn 3:7–9
1. Ruler of the Jews, Teacher – means nothing, start over
2. Money, status, easy life? – without Christ, it means nothing
3. What parts of your life need rebirth?
a. Marriage, relationship w/ children, attitude toward employer
4. Man who learned truth but didn’t want to give up women
III. It’s All About Christ
A. Jn 3:13–15
B. God’s love given through the Son
1. Jn 3:16–18
a. Only accessed by believing in him
3. V. 17 not here to judge the world, but to save world
a. God wants to save you – paid the highest price
4. V. 18 belief is the escape from judgment
a. Without belief, judgment is assured – no hope
b. Every aspect of life must be brought into conformity w/ Jesus
c. Jesus must be king of every thought, desire, feeling
C. Why do people not believe?
1. Jn 3:19–21
2. V. 19 Jesus is light – men love darkness b/c deeds evil
a. Nicodemus came in dark
b. Sanhedrin more concerned about power than God’s will
c. People more concerned about what they want now
3. V. 20 evil don’t want deeds, true motives, exposed
4. V. 21 people who want God come to light
D. Jesus didn’t beg Nicodemus to follow
1. Jn 19:39 Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.