Nicodemus Continues (John 3:9-15)

As the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus continues, the Pharisee becomes more and more confused at Christ's answers. He cannot understand, or better yet, he cannot accept what Jesus is telling him and what he himself is witnessing and hearing.

He was "Israel's teacher," well versed in the Scriptures, but he could not understand the simple truths spoken by God Himself. Together with the other Pharisees, Nicodemus studied the Holy Words of God for a very long time, searching for the Messiah. Unfortunately, all the traditions, the power and the status he experienced within Judaism blinded him. So severe was this blindness that at the very moment the Messiah came on earth, the Pharisees were at the forefront of those who failed to recognize Him. The unschooled, the marginalized, the lowly of spirit, they were the ones who saw Jesus as the Son of God, their Savior and Lord.

Jesus, Himself, was frustrated at the Pharisee's lack of wisdom and understanding despite a mind of knowledge. Here, we witness that mere human capacity will not bring a person to a loving relationship with the Lord. Like the Pharisees, we may
know the basics of our faith, but without the Holy Spirit's indwelling, our knowledge will be dormant in our heads, unable to change us or bring us to a Spiritual Rebirth.

We also consider our dependence on God's mercy and grace. Without these, the veil that covers our eyes will keep us in the darkness. The Pharisees have seen Jesus' miracles with their physical eyes. They have heard His teachings and His claims. They have studied the Scriptures and, I believe, found prophesies that were fulfilled by the Nazarene. The prejudice and pride in their hearts, however, kept them from seeing who Jesus was.

Jesus felt their need for the Savior that He emphatically emphasized their condition, "
I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony."

In effect, He was saying, "We speak of the truth about our claims; we testify to the miracles, signs and wonders that affirm our claims, but you reject our testimony." This has grave implications because Jesus is speaking to a culture that validates claims through testimonies. For the Messiah, His claims and testimonies may further be validated by signs, wonders and prophecies fulfilled. Jesus had all these, but they still refused His testimony. Jesus was showing their flaw-- they knew that He had fulfilled the requirements of the Scripture and the culture, but prejudice, pride and arrogance prevented them from considering and examining the evidences objectively. This was their downfall.

Jesus continues to speak with Nicodemus, revealing the true nature of his heart, the condition of the Pharisees of Israel. Jesus tells him that it is useless to begin teaching "heavenly things" because he cannot even understand mere earthly truths. We recognize this in our time as instances where spiritual rebirth is necessary for a person to understand what God wants to teach him. You may have Bible studies with an unbeliever, but the effects will be different from the believers. Whereas the unbeliever takes the lessons at face value, the believer applies them in his life.

And as we come to a close in this section, we witness Jesus again affirming His identity. It's as if He's saying, "I have authority to tell about all these things because I, the Son of Man, came from heaven and know all these ." The term, Son of Man, is Jesus' favorite self-designation, and it affirms His humanity side-by-side with His divinity. In this passage, Jesus also reveals that the Son of Man made it possible for God to be lifted up on the cross for the ransom of many. It is this act of incarnation that has made Him a fitting sacrifice for humanity.

Just like the Israelites who were healed from venom by fixing their eyes on the bronze snake Moses made for them, we too are saved from the venom of sins and receive eternal through believing in the Son of Man who was lifted up on the cross.


Lord, thank you for removing the veil in my eyes. Thank you for drawing me to you. I affirm that without Your intervention, I will never have come to realize the truth of the Gospel. Thank you, Lord, for you give me each day to try and share Your Word. Make me bold, Father. May my life be truly a testimony of Your goodness.

Thank you so much for the work You have given me. Thank you, too for the sustenance and provisions You have so generously given me. Teach me, Father, to offer my work to You. Teach me to love You above all. Thank you, Lord, for everything. Protect me from sin and make my life a pleasing sacrifice unto your throne.

I remember my brothers and sisters in DCF, Lord. May you provide a home for them. May you never let
them fall astray but just guide them and keep them close to Your heart. Help them grow in the knowledge and love of You, Lord. Amen.

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  1. Thanks for this reminder, Pao. It's humbling to know that we know Christ not because we've been born into a particular nation, or that we've been very moral, or that we've been very smart. We know Christ because Jesus chose to reveal Himself to us.