Monday, February 9, 2015

Teacher Gets Answers (John 3:1-21)

Nicodemus visits with Jesus at night (John 3:1-21). The Pharisee and teacher of Israel greets Jesus as "Rabbi" who "comes from God." Jesus turns the parital confession (vv. 1-2) into a perplexing conversation (vv. 3-10), rich with double meaning, metaphor, and images of new birth. While the precise meaning of Jesus' statements are still debated, his major emphasis is this: new spiritual life comes from the outside. God must change us; all our self-improvement efforts will fall short.

The conversation ends (vv. 11-21) by explaining the motive for new birth (God's love) and reward (eternal salvation). John gives his reader no indication of commitment from Nicodemus. The teacher fades into the night, confused. So it goes: Partial confessions and spiritual questions do not beget eternal salvation.

God Gets Flesh - John 1:1-18 sermon

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