(We continue our series on studying the words of Jesus Christ who said “ye must be born again” in John 3:1-3. We asked the question who was Nicodemus. In this post we will look at why Jesus interrupted Nicodemus, the great teacher of Israel and how can that relate to us.)
“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, ‘Rabi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus interrupted: two headings.
Nicodemus says to Him: ‘Rabi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him”.
Suddenly Nicodemus is interrupted and Christ responds to him saying: ‘except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’. Isn’t that a strange response He gives to Nicodemus? Why did He? Well is it not obvious? Nicodemus called Him ‘Rabbi’ which means ‘teacher’ and that shows that he only saw Jesus Christ as a teacher send from God as a prophet just like the Muslims would teach. Muslims, Mormons and JW’s would teach that He is a created being. He is not God incarnate, He is not the Son of God. But the reality is, that Nicodemus does not recognize nor understands that he is speaking to the very one who gave life to him and who created all things. He is speaking to God Incarnate. And Jesus demonstrates His deity by saying these words ‘except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’.
He said these words to him because Jesus already knew what Nicodemus was going to say and He already knew what was in his mind while speaking, because He personally knows him as God knows us so personally from the inside out. He needed no one to tell Him what was in man because He knew already (John 2:25). And only God knows what’s in man and what’s in the mind of man. But that is not the only reason why Nicodemus is interrupted.
The second reason why Nicodemus is interrupted is because he said to our Lord ‘Rabbi, we know’.. That is to say ‘Jesus, I already know who you are; I don’t need any further information from anyone and so I can make up my own decision of what I will ask you’. Nicodemus, the teacher of Israel, thought he knew who Jesus was and what the kingdom that He was preaching was all about. And is it not the same with postmodern humanity today?
The postmodern man rejects Christianity simply because he thinks he knows what Christianity is all about. The postmodern man is in many ways like Nicodemus. Nicodemus believes that he has achieved many things which he believes make him good enough for heaven. He has received many trophies in his cabinet and now he comes to Jesus to add some new trophies. He does not think that he has a problem within himself; because he believes that he is perfectly fine spiritually and he has no need for further knowledge on how does one become a good person in the sight of God, because he says to God ‘I know, I know’. Postmodern man is like that. He thinks he knows everything, when in fact, he has not even scratched the surface of the real problem in his life. No matter how knowledgeable he can be, like Nicodemus, he cannot see what the problem is. But God can.
And Christ is interrupting the postmodern man and says what he said to Nicodemus: ‘Nicodemus, all your human morality and all your trophy collection are worth nothing in the kingdom of God. You must demolish the foundation which you have been building, because it must be rebuilt again with a more surer foundation not made by the hands of humanity. But by God. Ye must be born again!’.
(to be continued..)