John 3:1-2 “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.”
Today we’re going to look at the opening verses to a chapter that is perhaps among the most popular chapters in the Bible. We’ve all heard John 3:16. Yet the entire chapter needs to be read, and we’ll be going through this in the coming days.
Today we look simply at the first two verses, where Nicodemus was introduced. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, the same group that troubled John the Baptist, and Jesus, during their entire earthly ministry; The same group that troubled the people with their hypocrisy; The same group that still spiritually exists today under other names, among all the people groups. Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews, someone who had enough knowledge and experience to lead the people…and therefore was responsible for people.
In the second verse we see that Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. This is of course due to trying to remain hidden since the Pharisees were against Jesus. It would be a quick way to get “excommunicated” from the church/synagogue if a Pharisee went to see Jesus for any reason other than group condemnation! We see several people do this, as it is human nature to often keep sensitive and important things hidden at the start to make sure it’s not sabotaged. Even Paul, the apostle, did this when preaching the gospel to someone who was famous in the public eye, to make sure that the person truly heard the Word of God and didn’t allow the spotlight to make him shun being told the gospel (Galatians 2:2).
Nicodemus reveals something as well: The Pharisees knew Jesus was from God. They knew the Truth. Some people would believe that the Pharisees, and those who were overall against Christ or didn’t follow Christ, just “didn’t know any better.” The Truth of the matter is, no one has an excuse to say they didn’t know any better. If they have been told, they are without excuse. And Nicodemus admits that they know Jesus is from God, not just by His words but even His actions!
We see once again the usage of the title “Rabbi” to describe Jesus. One thing we need to remember is that Jesus did not just come to save our sins. He came to teach us as well, the things the Father sent Him to tell us. Many people call themselves “Christians” because they either attend a Christian church, or their parents were Christian, or because it’s “convenient” to call themselves a Christian. However, none of those things make someone a Christian. A Christian is a follower of the teachings of Christ. The question must be asked, if someone does not spend any time in the Bible, reading and studying, how do they even know what the teachings of Christ are, in order to claim that they are a follower of Christ’s teachings? There are many people out there who claim Christ’s central teaching is this or that thing, which ends up being quite contrary to the Truth. Let’s not forget that unless we actually spend time in the Word of God, how can we know what we believe, to call ourselves Believers?
I love you all dearly, with brotherly, godly love. Please continue to pray for us each day. May God continue to bless you greatly, as I know He does!
Love always in Christ Jesus,
Your friend always,