The Character of Jesus 6

Talking with Nicodemus

John 3:1 – 15

  • Characteristic:  High expectations of others
    • (3)  Rather than addressing the simplistic introductory observation of Nicodemas, Jesus jumped directly to Nicodemas’ hindrance to understanding.
    • (5 – 8)  Skipping religious banter, Jesus focused on the heart of the issue: the spirit.
    • (10 – 13)  Nicodemas had already acknowledged that Jesus “came from God.” (v 2)  Jesus challenged Nicodemas to draw appropriate conclusions from that understanding.
    • (14 – 15)  Using a familiar historical account from Numbers 21, Jesus provided a prediction that would validate His claims.
    • (16 – 21)  Many commentators place the end of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemas at verse 15, the portion in v 16 – 21 being explanatory comments from John.
  • Applications
    • Those with whom we speak often are trapped in a version of Christianity that failed to develop, so are stuck in physical practices, entertainment, authority, or complex theology.  Challenge those who are seeking something better with the heart of the matter: what is it to be born again?
    • Skip the discussions of the ordinary and cut to the chase: the promises concerning the Spirit.
    • Challenge interested individuals to think about God’s purpose for Creation and the unique insights of someone who came from heaven to earth.
    • Talk about evidence, which is of “first importance.”