Face-to-Face

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to face a superior.  Most people study and strive to never reach this place.  It’s humbling and vulnerable and we will avoid it at all cost.  So we educate and promote ourselves to higher degrees of efficiency until we are assured that in our sphere of influence we are the most influential.

“In my world, I am in control.  I reign supreme.”

This of course is the mindset of every lost person from the publically esteemed to the scum of society.  They have one thing in common; they bend their knee to no one.

Nicodemus was a highly educated aristocrat of his society.  He comes to Jesus with one purpose.  He seeks to gain the knowledge necessary in order to quench the nagging uncertainties threatening his superior status.  The kingdom he had built wass in jeopardy if Jesus is who He claims to be.

Nicodemus moves first, “I will call you Rabbi even though you are young and uneducated.  I will credit your miracles to God for my studies assure me that only God can do what has been credited to you.  Now, I need you to give me a reasonable explanation for why I am doing this.”

 

Jesus counters with, “Your mouth spouts flattery and your mind seeks answers but your soul is lost.  I will address the soul for that is why I am here.”

Checkmate.  The teacher becomes the student under the Master Teacher.  It doesn’t matter what Nicodemus and his friends know (verse 2) Jesus is about to tell them the Truth.  (verses 3,5)

Set back and listen Nic, cause from this point on you will only be able to utter, “How can this be?”

Only God can cause a person to make the journey from darkness to seek the truth in the Light.   Therefore Jesus doesn’t bend His knee to the agenda of Nicodemus, He obeys what He sees His Father is doing.  The kingdom of God is at hand.

To be able to see the Kingdom, you must be born from above.  In order to enter the Kingdom, you must be born of water and the Spirit. 

The world is forever indebted to Nicodemus for asking, “How?”

1.  Jesus makes certain His true identity is understood.

You call Me a Rabbi, your equal.  I tell you I am the One-of-a-kind Son sent from Yahweh to be lifted up as the salvation for the world.   You know the Son of Man Daniel saw?  I AM.  You know Moses’ snake of salvation in the desert?  I AM

2. Jesus clarifies that the Spirit does the work of salvation.

The power to be reborn comes from God alone.  You have as little control over His work as you could control the wind that blows. 

 

3. You must believe Me.

Just as the snake venom poisoned the Israelites, sin has poisoned and condemned you to death.  The simple act of lifting their eyes to gaze upon the snake proved their faith in the One who heals.  Your believing in Me proves your faith in the One who Redeems.

 

Lift up your eyes and look into the face of your Savior.

Did one of the wisest of the wise men of his time become a believer?  He was drawn out of the darkness by the wind of the Spirit, he had a face-to-face encounter with the Savior, he had only to believe in the death, burial and resurrection he soon witnessed.  I hope his bold and tender act of preparing Jesus’ body for burial showed his heart had indeed been torn from top to bottom.

The actual words ‘born again’ describe a garment torn from top to bottom.  I have no doubt that when the Nicodemus saw the curtain to the Holy of Holies ripped from top to bottom, that he remembered His conversation on that dark night.  A vivid memory relived before his stunned eyes.  But was his heart torn?

Has your heart been torn from above and made new?

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