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Jesus and Nicodemus the Pharisee is a Bible lesson that teaches us the basis of be born again. John 3:16 is the key, but what is left out is as important as what is included. 

Harmony Of The Gospels Series 2, Jn 3:1-21

For more information about Jesus see these books on the History of Jesus Christ

Jesus And Nicodemus The Pharisee

This is one of the most taught and best known stories of the Bible.  In this lesson, we will cover, of course, the main point of the story.  We will also cover a dimension to the story that goes almost unnoticed, that is...what is not said.  This is, in a number of ways, a continuation of last week's topic. The question we all have, at some point, is how we can know we're headed for heaven and eternity with God. It may be we're so busy the only time the thought comes up is when we go to someone's funeral. Of course, the older we get, the more funerals we get to attend. These top-selling books can add to your understanding of the story of Jesus and Nicodemus the Pharisee.  There are many conflicting opinions of how to get to heaven. One opinion, I call the 'Hollywood theory', is that, if we're good enough, if we've done more good things than bad, we go to heaven. Then, there's the 'religion theory' that offers rules, rules and more rules that we must follow to get to heaven. Ever heard the one that says everyone goes? That one, of course, is offered by the people who believe that 'anything goes'. It's really important to get the right information on this subject.

Some people spend weeks figuring out where they'll spend a week on vacation, but not give a second thought to where they're going for all eternity. As a group, we're not sure, really, what the alternative to heaven is. The Bible says precious little. If we listen to Dante (author of 'inferno'), hell is a real location where people are tortured and burnt forever. That'll clear your nostrils! I don't see it that way. I see the terms in the Bible relating to fire as metaphors. You don't have to ascribe to my opinion, but I can't picture the loving God who "isn't willing that any should perish" setting up a place to physically torture those who don't agree with Him. Here's my take: When God created us, He wanted children who would love and honor Him. Our love would not be valid without a real alternative…we would be little worship machines that could do nothing but love Him. Therefore, He made it possible for Adam and Eve to reject Him, knowing they would. Sin, sickness, death all came into the world through that choice. All the evil we've experienced throughout history has sprung from individuals choosing not to love God. The devil and hell are expressions of that alternative. If we choose not to spend eternity in heaven, in loving relationship with God, there has to be an alternative place and person to spend eternity with. I believe the torture, the "weeping and gnashing of teeth", comes from knowing we had many opportunities to have everything, and refused. So, how can be ensure our place with God forever?

Our Scripture passage teaches there is only One Way to gain eternity with God.

1. The Question:

Jn 3:1-3 "Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

a. Nicodemus didn't ask, 'How do I see God's kingdom'. He just told Jesus he thought Jesus was a teacher from God. Nicodemus was a ruler of Israel, kinda' like a state Senator, except he ruled religious matters, as well as civil. He was part of the same council that, three years later, would condemn Jesus to death. Because Nicodemus snuck out at night to see Jesus at night, it seems things weren't looking very good for Jesus politically, even then. Nicodemus (and a few friends) were probably part of the minority on this council, believing Jesus was "from God." Still, Nicodemus didn't ask the crucial question. But…

Continued at Jesus And Nicodemus-2

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