Continuing our study on the manner of salvation, let’s look at the conversation that now emerges between Christ and Nicodemus, the Pharisee.
John 3:2-3 (NKJV)
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.”
He comes to Jesus, we’re told, by night, and that tells us all by itself he was probably hoping for a private moment, something that is out of the sight of some of his contemporaries, the watchful eyes of his fellow Pharisees. It suggests something about his heart. His desire for secrecy may be the first indication that he is not your normal, ordinary Pharisee. His perspective might be going somewhere different than the average Pharisee. His interest in Jesus is very personal and presumably, it’s very sincere. The name Nicodemus literally means “victory over people” or “victory for the people,” you could say. I think it is ironic, in fact, it’s prophetically ironic when you consider Jesus delivers the victory for the common man over the tyranny of men like the Pharisees. Continue reading
We enter into one of the most intriguing and unique sections of John’s Gospel. The manner of salvation. We start with Nicodemus.
John chooses to relate a number of encounters between Jesus and various men and women who he is going to portray in the course of the Gospel.
A blind man…among others
Each person John highlights along this path, each one of them is touched by Christ’s
words, by His miracles, and at the end of it, they all come to faith in Christ. That’s one of the unifying qualities of all these people. They are all individuals who come to faith in Christ. They begin each encounter in ignorance, they leave each encounter transformed by Christ. Therefore, each of these interactions serves to highlight a dimension of the salvation found in Christ. Between these encounters, along the way, we are going to see moments where John records various miracles and moments of dialogue between Jesus and three different groups who are following Jesus. These are different than the vignettes I just described. These three groups are: manner of salvation Continue reading
We pick back up in the Gospel of John on the fourth day of Jesus’ first week of ministry with Philip finding Nathaniel and telling him about the arrival of the Messiah.
Philip tells him he has found the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph. Which Nathaniel, in turn, asks could anything good could come out of Nazareth? Philip responds, come and see. And Nathaniel chooses to come to Jesus. Notice Jesus did not come to Nathaniel. Nathaniel had to come to Jesus. Nathaniel had to make a decision to come to Jesus so that He could have that experience of knowing Him. Then as the encounter begins, Jesus initiates the conversation. Continue reading