This year we are covering the four Gospel Accounts together in chronological order.
Last month, we looked at Matthew 3:1-17; 4:1-11, Mark 1:1-13, John 1:6-51; 2:1-25, and Luke 3:1-17, 21-38 which covered the events immediately preceding Jesus' Public Ministry.
This month, we will cover the beginning of Jesus' Public Ministry...
"1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:"
(In John's Gospel Account, the focus seemed to be Jerusalem and the religious leaders. It was as if John the Disciple had a relationship with religious leaders in Jerusalem and was able to have access to these encounters. This encounter involved a Pharisee named Nicodemus...)
"2 the same came unto him by night, and said to him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that thou doest, except God be with him."
(Nicodemus used the word "we"...as if to say the religious leaders knew Jesus was a teacher that came from God. The reason: they knew no one would be able to do what Jesus did except God was with Him. Notice, today, there is a movement that says all signs and wonders are deception and from the devil. We see here that the religious leaders of Jesus' time knew that good signs and wonders came from God through an individual who was being directed by God.)
"3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
(Nicodemus made a statement to Jesus. Jesus' response was to make a statement back. We have covered the meaning of this one verse in a post titled, "Understanding "Born Again"". In the original Greek, the phrase was actually "born from above"...which would also be "born again" and "born anew". Remember, the Kingdom of God is the eternal physical kingdom on the new earth and different than the kingdom of heaven which is the spiritual kingdom that was begun with John the Baptist. Jesus stated that unless a person was born from above, they would not see the eternal physical kingdom on the new earth.)
"4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?"
(Nicodemus was stuck on the idea of a physical birth, consequently Jesus' statement didn't make sense to Nicodemus so he asked Jesus two questions.)
"5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God!
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
(Notice, Jesus didn't answer Nicodemus with a question. Jesus gave a straight explanation: the two births are unique. One birth is physical and of the water of the womb. The second birth is spiritual and of the Spirit.)
"7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew.
8 The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."
(Jesus stated that those born of the Spirit are like the wind. People who are led by the Spirit are like the wind because NO PERSON can predict what the person will do: they are taking direction from the Holy Spirit who also is untamed and unpredictable. This is Grace: the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.)
A Pharisee named Nicodemus confessed to Jesus in private that the religious leaders knew Jesus was sent by God. Jesus told Nicodemus that those born anew would be able to see the Kingdom of God. Jesus explained that those who are born anew are led by the Holy Spirit.