Bold Truth   2 comments

This is Part 8 of a series – What If Truth Went Viral. Check it out.

Digging through Jesus’ truth statements in John brought me to Nicodemus. When I opened a study guide to get help with the Greek, I encountered a surprise. A lot of our theology books used to belong to actual Biblical scholars or pastors who need the same help I need. When they trade up, sometimes we get their old books. This guide belonged to our friend Alan before it belonged to us and he had saved a newspaper article about a speech given by the president of a well-known university to a group of influential businessmen and civic leaders.

The president told of a recent experience which he, his audience, and the newspaper reporter found humorous. While shopping during the Christmas season, he happened to pass by a Salvation Army volunteer, ringing a bell for a “donation kettle”. As he paused to make a donation, the woman volunteer asked this educator: “Sir, are you saved?” When he replied that he supposed he was, she was not satisfied and pursued the matter further: “I mean, have you ever given your full life to the Lord?” The president told his audience that he felt he ought to enlighten this persistent woman concerning his identity: “I am the president of this major university and, therefore, president of its school of theology.” The lady considered his response for a moment, and then replied, “It doesn’t matter wherever you’ve been, or whatever you are, you can still be saved.”

The tragedy here is that both the seminary president and his audience actually thought his story was amusing. I know why Alan — who is coincidentally a seminary professor nowadays — used this article as a bookmark for the section on Nicodemus. Nicodemus was the equivalent of a university president, the “cream of the Jewish crop” — a Jews, a Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin (the highest legal, legislative and judicial body of the Jews), and a highly respected teachers of the Old Testament scriptures. One can imagine that if Nicodemus had been confronted by this Salvation Army volunteer, he would have thought—and said—just about the same thing as the university president.

Can you imagine being Nicodemus and having Jesus tell you that all of this is not enough to get you into the kingdom of God? That is precisely what Jesus told him when they met. Talk about camels being strained through the eyes of sewing needles! If a man like Nicodemus is not good enough for the kingdom of God, then who is?

That is the question, and Jesus has the answer, which John recorded for us. For everyone who has been taught that there are many ways to heaven … no, there are not … not according to Jesus. If you say you are a Christian, but do not listen to the message Jesus brought, then you need to examine your faith. Start by reading Jesus’ own words:

Now there came a man of the Pharisees whose name was Nicodemus, a member of the council. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could do the miraculous signs that you do unless God were with him.”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time, can he?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows wherever it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus replied, “How can these things be?”

Jesus answered, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things? I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. If I have told you people about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For this is the way God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God. John 3:1-21

Discussion to follow.

Part 9

Posted June 3, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity, Uncategorized

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2 responses to “Bold Truth

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  1. Pingback: Truth Precepts | aurorawatcherak

  2. Pingback: Knowing the Truth | aurorawatcherak

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