Following Jesus having tossed the money changers out of the temple and His perplexing answer to the Jews about “destroying this temple” people had begun to take notice of him. They believed when they saw the signs he was doing. It was beginning to cause a stir.
Nicodemus seems to be a reasonable man who is trying to figure out what all this means. He comes to see Jesus at night. Some would say he was afraid of being seen with Jesus. That’s probably true but I also think, in Nicodemus’ position maybe he thinks he can orchestrate something between the Jews and Jesus…you know, just get everybody on the same page.
Nicodemus really doesn’t come as a learner. Rather he claims to know that Jesus is a teacher from God. He’s probably more accustomed to giving out the answers than getting them. (It doesn’t work well for me either when I come to Jesus telling Him I’ve already got most of my issues figured out…just need a few finishing touches from Him. Nope – it’s usually a bust.)
Nicodemus is about to get more answers than he was expecting. What follows is the famous conversation about being “born again.” If you want to enter God’s kingdom you must be born into that kingdom. Nicodemus – stuck in his practical knowledge of human birth is puzzled to be sure. Jesus exposes and then unravels Nic’s self-confidence and then just tells him plainly:
The Son of Man [will] be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. This is how one is born again, born a second time, born from above.
Know this – condemnation already exists – believing is the way out.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is how you measure believing: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
God loves. He has come to be a Savior not a condemner.
Coming into the light is not about knowing everything already. It is about believing that the answers are found in a God who loves me.
About the World?
Anyone who seeks Jesus out will have their ignorance exposed but will find the truth about God’s love for them.