Posted by: randydunning | January 3, 2008

Day 3 | John 3

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Text: John 3

Key Verse: 9, 10
“Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can these things be?'”
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?'”

Reflection:
Now I don’t feel so bad!

There are many times when I read the scriptures and just don’t get it. Like v. 8 about people born of the Spirit being like the wind, which we know not where it comes from or where it is going. That verse still confuses me. After all, I know plenty of people born of the Spirit who are rather predictable. But if I need to ask Jesus, “How can these things be?” at least I’m in pretty good company. I’ve got Nicodemus in my camp.

The answer to confusion might not be understanding but believing God and receiving wisdom from Him. V. 27 speaks to this where John the Baptist says, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.” James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom we should ask for it from God and He will dispense it generously. Like all else, wisdom and understanding must be received from God as gifts.

John the Baptist further confirms this when he says in v. 33, “He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true.” So receiving God’s testimony (i.e. believing God) leads to the understanding that God is true in His words and actions. And if we understand that God’s Word is altogether true we don’t have to doubt its veracity when certain passages confound us.

Prayer:
Lord, I know you are true. You have proven over and over to me that You not only exist but that You care for me. Indeed, You continue to supply all my needs and I am grateful. When I come upon confusing sections of Your Word (confusing at least to me) please give me the grace to believe You are true, ask You for wisdom, and receive what Your Spirit will reveal.

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Responses

  1. I also had those verses as my key verses, but for different reasoning. To me it seemed that Jesus was saying to Nicodemus that he (Jesus) was amazed that a man who was teaching the people, didn’t even understand how the wind worked, yet he (Nicodemus) was questioning a man (Jesus) who both understood earthly things and heavenly things. So, Jesus explains how the wind works and then basically says, look I get this earthly concept, now trust me on this heavenly concept. Then later in the chapter, John basically confirms that point in saying that people should trust Jesus because he knows both heaven and earthly things because he is the only person who has been to both. I could be off, but I thought it was quite interesting.

  2. No, D, that is great insight. All the more reason that, as James says, we should believe and not doubt.

  3. I was thinking about verse 8 today. I think that what Jesus means is that those born of the Spirit are being transformed. You can’t tell where they have come from because God has brought them so far from that life of sin, and you can’t tell where they are going because God is still transforming them. I am thankful that the man I am today is not the final product of who Jesus is making me. The reason Nicodemus (or others not born of God) can’t understand this transformation is because being born of God is such a supernatural transformation, but Nicodemus wants to think purely in physical terms. Jesus is trying to transform my thinking to the supernatural. It is, after all, God who accomplishes this act of being born again. It is spiritual in nature, not just physical.

  4. I keyed in on vs 3 — Nicodemus says “we” (the pharisees) know that Jesus is a teacher sent from God. Jesus goes on to explain that he is more than a teacher, but their savior. So why do the pharisees give Jesus such a hard time if they believe he was sent from God? Even when faced with the truth, pride and fear can consume people to do the opposite of what they know they should do.


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