[SW275] 03/31/2017 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017
[NOTE: These sermon notes are exegetical, not my usual prose, but it is so you may see and learn how to exegete — how to examine the scriptures and uncover truths.]
“Jesus, the Teacher of Teachers”
Jesus Christ did not need anyone to teach Him — He was and is the Teacher of us all, regardless of our education, and if we heed His words, we will see His kingdom! Do you hear the wind?
Verses 1-2 —
Nicodemus — A Pharisee (the most religious sect of Judaism)
— A ruler of the Jews (a member of the Sanhedrin, the same Council of 71 that questioned Peter and John (Acts 4:5)
— Came by night (secretly, not in fear)
— WE know (he and some others in the Sanhedrin), WE have seen signs performed by You
— Rabbi (a term of respect, but He was never taught, per John. 7:15)
— You have come from God as a teacher
— signs = from God, but be careful of false signs!
NOTE: Nicodemus sees the signs, but sees neither the King nor the Kingdom!
Verse 3 — Jesus abruptly says, Truly, truly I say to you (a great revelatory truth)
— UNLESS you are born FROM ABOVE (lit.), per John 1:12-13) (“again” is a poor translation!) . . . you CANNOT SEE (spiritually) the kingdom of God (for God is Spirit, per John 4:24)
Natural birth —
— Prior to birth, no comprehension of what is outside the womb— senses present but limited — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching) but only that which is in the womb
— Then, at birth, you see a world you have never seen before
— That which was muffled now clear, senses unlimited
When born from above —
— Prior to birth, no comprehension of the kingdom of God
— Senses open only to natural world
— Suddenly, you are able to see the kingdom of God!
— Spiritual senses activated
— Seeing Him
— Hearing Him
— Tasting that the Lord is good
— Smelling the fragrance of His presence (2Cor 2:15)
— Touching Him as you pray, and feeling Him touch you!
Verse 4 —
— Nicodemus does not understand spiritual things, so tries to relate Jesus’ words to natural birth
1Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (And this from Paul, a former Pharisee!)
Verse 5 —
— Truly, truly I say . . . IF you are NOT born of
— water (repentance, John 1:23, make straight the way) AND
— the Spirit (regeneration, John 20:20)
— You CANNOT ENTER INTO the kingdom of God
Verse 6 —
— Born of flesh (John 1:13), you are flesh, born of Spirit, you are spirit (the measure received when you believe — regeneration)
Verse 7 —
— Do not be amazed (do not wonder what it means)
— You MUST be born from above (regeneration simultaneously happens when you believe)
The “before and after” of being born from above —
Verse 8 —
— The wind blows, you hear it but you don’t know (perceive by seeing) where it comes from or where it is going (unless you check your weather app!)
— So it is of everyone born of the Spirit
— Others don’t know where you come from (for unless they are born from above, they CANNOT see the kingdom of God)
— Others HEAR the change in you (out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks, per Matthew 12:34)
— It is unexplainable by ordinary reasoning
— You no longer love the world and the things of the world (1Jn 2:15)
— Those who HEAR the change in you say, “What has changed?”
— You are a new creature, the old has gone, the new has come(2Corinthians 5:17)
Verse 9-10 —
— Nicodemus does not understand
— Bluntly, Jesus asks, THE teacher of Israel does not know these things?
— You may be well educated
— You may know all the scriptures
— You may have memorized whole chapters or books of the Bible
— You may be a professor at a seminary
— You may be an excellent teacher
— But Jesus says you CANNOT see the kingdom UNLESS you are born from above
— And Jesus says you MUST be born from above, through repentance and regeneration, to ENTER INTO the kingdom of God
Verse 11 —
— Truly, truly I say those born of the Spirit speak of what they know (spiritual things) and testify of what we have seen (the kingdom of God)
— And you do not accept (receive, take in, get hold of) the testimony of those who are born from above (again, they cannot see or comprehend spiritual things)
Verse 12 —
— Jesus told Nicodemus earthly things (using the wind as a metaphor, a symbol)
— And Nicodemus did not understand the metaphor
— So how can Nicodemus understand heavenly things
NOTE: Those born from above speak of the spiritual things of the kingdom of God, which is in heaven. It is where they come from, spiritually, because they have been born from above, and it is where they are going.
NOTE: Nicodemus hears the wind of the Spirit, but cannot understand where it comes from or where it is going, because he has not been born from above and therefore CANNOT SEE the kingdom of God.
NOTE: Being born from above requires repentance (water) and regeneration (a measure of the Spirit given when you believe)
Verse 13 —
— Jesus says that no one has ascended into heaven (yet)
— But the Son of Man, who descended from heaven WILL ASCEND, after His death and resurrection, opening the way for all who are born from above.
— The Son of Man is the title He uses when describing
— His authority to forgive sins
— His return after His death, resurrection, ascension and glorification — His Lordship
— His role as the sinless, sacrificial Lamb of God who bore the wrath
Have you seen His signs?
Have you repented and been baptized with water as an outward evidence of repentance?
Do you believe He is who He says He is?
Are you born from above?
If so, you can
— See His kingdom
— Understand spiritual things
— Have no love for this world
— Are a new creature evidenced by what comes out of your mouth (your heart’s contents)
If not, do it now! Today is the day of salvation from the wrath of God.
But He says, there is more I command you to do! Stay, wait! I will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, and then you will be My witnesses!