If Jesus sat down with us for some one-on-one time, what would we ask Him? More importantly, how would we respond to His questions?
Knowing He is omniscient God, the Living Word of God [John 1:1-3] who knows the “thoughts and intents of the heart” [Hebrews 4:12], compels us to answer honestly and fully. No hiding, deflecting, or excusing. Just honest answers.
John’s Gospel records several questions Jesus asked in His earthly ministry. By personally considering each of His questions, we face His same probing truth. By responding truthfully, may we be drawn into a more intimate walk with Him.
3rd Question – How Do You Not Know These Things?
Nicodemus had questions. He thought Jesus might have answers. But it wasn’t socially or religiously acceptable to be seen meeting with Jesus. So, under cover of darkness, he arranged a secret rendezvous.
Whether privately or publicly, Jesus willingly met those with questions. He wants everyone to repent and believe on Him [2 Peter 3:9]. Whoever does so won’t perish but has eternal life [John 3:16]. With this loving purpose, He met inquiring Nicodemus.
As a religious leader, Nicodemus knew the Law and the Prophets. He knew the times and types of Temple sacrifices. As a Pharisee, he had the education, reputation, and social prestige of a man in his position. Yet, Christ’s arrival, message, and signs challenged all he knew. Nicodemus knew the Messiah would come one day, but Jesus posed a problem.
Jesus challenged their religiosity, ritualism, and ceremonialism. He opposed their numerous and burdensome religious “oral laws” and traditions. And yet, He performed miracles and spoke with unheard-of authority and results [Mark 4:32-36]. If He was against them religiously, how did He command such power?
Jesus brushed all questions aside and went to the heart of the matter.
Jesus replied, “I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God’s kingdom!” Nicodemus asked, “How can a grown man ever be born a second time?” Jesus answered…Don’t be surprised when I say that you must be born from above. “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. Jesus replied: How can you…not know these things?“ [John 3:3-10, CEV, bold text added]
God’s Word is an open book and the Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth Who guides us into all truth [John 16:13]. Jesus encouraged us to “Search the Scriptures” [John 5:39]. Paul echoed those sentiments by encouraging us to diligently study God’s Word so we could “rightly divide” or understand and interpret it [2 Timothy 2:15].
Simply reading and studying God’s Word won’t yield the spiritual enlightenment many seek. A “natural man” or unbeliever cannot understand it because it is spiritually discerned. [1 Corinthians 2:14]. Only “born from above” believers, indwelt by the Spirit of truth, can fully understand God’s Word.
Sometimes even believers are perplexed with some Scripture. But God’s Word is a lamp for immediate illumination and a light for ongoing discernment [Psalm 119:105]. He promises to reward those who diligently seek Him [Hebrews 11:6].
To understand, may we believe, study, and listen for the Spirit’s discernment—then obey.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Nate Stevens