1.There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Let’s take a look today at Nicodemus’ question and Jesus’ answer. Nicodemus had undoubtedly seen and heard Jesus in the day. His teachings and His miracles confirmed to Nicodemus that Jesus had at least come from God. There were OT prophets who did miracles and said amazing things. Elijah prayed in a three and a half year famine. At his prayer it rained. He prayed down fire from heaven. He outran a chariot. He healed sick people, raised a dead son and opened a river to walk through on dry ground. As Nicodemus spoke to Jesus he wanted to know if Jesus was a prophet. Did He come from God?
There was nothing wrong with Nicodemus’ question. Many people have the same question about the deity of Christ. In answer to their questions we have developed an entire study of thought called “apologetics.” If someone wants to know the genuineness of Christ we can give them books of arguments to prove this. It has been said that Jesus Christ was either a liar, a lunatic or the Lord. Nice.
But I want you to notice Jesus’ response. He did not answer the question! A leader of the Pharisees has come and has come with one question; he wants confirmation that Jesus came from God. Jesus blows right past the question! He had the opportunity to give us all the ammunition we would need to defend His deity and Jesus ignores the question. Instead, Jesus went straight to the greatest need of Nicodemus’ heart which was not knowledge but conviction of sin. Nicodemus thought he was a good man, one who was going to make it to heaven. But Jesus tells him straightforward that unless he is born again he will never see the kingdom he longed for.
This question struck Nicodemus’ heart like a splitting maul hits a cut log and it split his heart wide-open. Here is the point. When people come to us questioning Jesus, let’s take them to the heart of the matter which is their need of the Savior. Let’s spend less time defending Christ and more time presenting Christ. A gun is not something you defend to an intruder. “I have a gun in my hand. In the gun is a bullet. When I pull the trigger an explosion in the chamber will occur and piece of lead is going to come out of the end of the barrel and might enter your body causing you harm.” No, you simply say, “Stop! Or I will shoot!” In the same manner, Jesus Christ does not need to be defended, He needs to be applied to the hearts of those we know and love. As the bullet will do its job without defense so the Lord Jesus will break into the hard heart and bring conviction and salvation as He did with Nicodemus.
This is a busy weekend. Men’s prayer breakfast is tomorrow morning. We will be doing set up for Sunday on Saturday. (Anyone who wants to help surely can.) Sunday morning is our regular service with the addition of the Lord’s Table which we are changing from the second Sunday to the first Sunday to coincide with our church dinner. After church I will be going out to pass out flyers for the evenings Harvest America event. At 5:00 we will be getting to the church to make sure we are ready. If you can come and be a greeter or an usher we are going to need your help either in the church, at the door, or in the parking lot.
The Harvest America rally will run almost until 8:00. At the end of the message, Greg Laurie is going to invite people to trust Jesus Christ as Savior and to follow Him as Lord. We need to have people ready to meet with those who stand to receive Christ. I have special tracts designed to enable us to walk someone through a salvation decision. They are called Bridge Tracts and show Christ as the bridge to eternal life. These tracts are a great tool to enable all of us to lead someone to faith in Jesus Christ. We are praying for a harvest of souls. Pray with us and come to serve the Lord Sunday evening.
If you would like to see videos on the event go to www.harvestamerica.com
There is RU tonight. Pray for God to bring in those that He wants to save. Pray for the leadership to be ready to minister Christ to those who come.
Pastor Bill’s nursing home service was cancelled due to sickness there.
Have a great day in the Lord,