John 3:9-13 “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?
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”
Today we will pick up where we left off on the last expository study on the Gospel of John. (Link Here) If this type of expository study has been a blessing to you, please join in conversation below in the comments, share the studies with others, and let us know that this is a blessing as such things truly encourage us as well!
We start off here with Nicodemus asking the Lord how it’s possible, regarding what Jesus just told him about being born again, of the Spirit and not the flesh. Don’t hesitate to re-read what we’ve covered if you need to, since it has indeed been a bit of time since our last study!
In the second verse for today, Jesus plainly questions why Nicodemus doesn’t already understand the things He mentioned. This is a problem that Jesus faced quite often, and we see quite often today as well. The Pharisees were high up the religious ladder. It would be similar to how we have seminarians and well-versed preachers and teachers today who went to this or that well-known college and have this and that degree in theology. Now there is little wrong with getting degrees and going to seminars and so forth. I do caution many people though because often in such situations you learn more about a specific creed/denomination’s interpretation of the scriptures, rather than learning to be led by the Holy Spirit in UNDERSTANDING the Scriptures. I’d rather we all understand the scriptures, instead of try to interpret them based on man’s understanding. There is nothing wrong with seeking counsel either from those whom GOD has placed in positions of leadership and Biblical Teaching (Ephesians 4:11-16). The problem arises, as Jesus shows here and we see often, that people attempt to understand the Spiritual, with the natural mind and natural teachings. Just as explained in 1 Corinthians 2, it doesn’t work that way.
Nicodemus, being a Pharisee, was in a position of leadership, and it was a shame that he did not understand and know the things that the Lord had explained to him! Jesus continues though and explains that those who are of God—not by the will of man, but of God as in John 1:12-13 —speak the things that we know by the Spirit, and we testify about what we have seen. Yet, such a witness was not received by them because they wanted natural understanding and natural positions rather than Spiritual Truth. This happens today as well with us. Though just as Jesus did not let rejection of the Truth stop Him from speaking the Truth, we should not let it stop us from giving our testimony and sharing what the Lord has both taught, and done, for us!
Verse 12 explains: “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” There are many earthly things that quite often are shadows of spiritual truth. Even the way the physical body works together, is used to explain how the church should work together. Marriage is often used to represent the relationship we are to have with God. Jesus used the example of the wind to explain the moving of the Spirit of God and being born again. Here Jesus tells him point blank that if He tells him about natural things and can’t understand, how is it that he will understand the Spiritual Truths if he be told?!
The last verse for today is the Lord giving a bit of a hint regarding Jesus’ future ascension back to heaven. He is giving Nicodemus a chance to know, and remember, that when Jesus ascends he needs to realize that Jesus was indeed the Messiah come down from the Father in Heaven. Man has no power to ascend to heaven. However, Jesus being FROM heaven, has every ability to go back to heaven. Nicodemus was being given a chance to know something ahead of time so that when it happens, He may believe. God does this many times throughout the Word of God, through His prophets, and teachers, and leaders. This is why even today He does use some to prophesy things to us (though there be MANY counterfeits), so that when it comes to pass we can be encouraged that this thing coming to pass was known by the Lord already and we can rest in the Lord’s presence with us as we go through!
Take note of the title He gives to Himself here as well, the Son of Man, and remember from previous studies that the reason for such a title that is that it refers to the fact He is the Mediator between man and God.
I love you all very much and continue to pray for you. May the Lord continue to bless you, as we know He is so very faithful to bless us daily! Stay strong in the Lord always, and in the Power of HIS might not our own.
Love always in Christ Jesus,
Your friend always,