Sunday, October 6, 2019

Jesus and Nicodemus: How can a man be born twice?

Have you ever hung out with a friend late into the night, maybe sitting out on the porch, or chilling in the living room, or out on a boat on the water, and just talked real talk about life, and deep thoughts, and where you wanna go in life? It can be so refreshing when we sit down with a trusted friend, have some coffee, or go fishing, and just talk about life, our dreams, our hurts, our goals, and what we long for in our hearts.

Friendship is so important in our day and age when we go so fast, and get so busy. We don’t seem to value friendship too much today. Especially with men. Men don’t seem to get together too much, just as friends, to spend time, talk, and do things together. Why is that? And if you don’t have any friends guys, then whose got your back when times get hard? It can be the same with women, women don’t spend a lot of time with other women, but how badly do we need those friendships? We need them very badly.

In our scripture today Nicodemus, this leader in society, meets at night with Jesus. And they talk deep. They have real fellowship. And Nicodemus leaves having learned some things that will change his life forever.

Nicodemus has heard all about Jesus. He’s heard that Jesus has been doing miracles and healing people. And he realizes that there is something special about Jesus. Jesus is different from everybody else. He can’t quite place what is going on, but he asks to meet with Jesus so he can learn more.

So Jesus sits down with Nicodemus, they’re hanging out, having a good time, and they get into that mindset where they start talking deep.

Nicodemus says to Jesus, ““Teacher, we know that you are a teacher sent from God. No one can do these miraculous signs that you do unless they have God’s help.”

3 Jesus answered, “I assure you, everyone must be born again. Anyone who is not born again cannot be in God’s kingdom.”

Nicodemus didn’t quite understand what he meant.

4 Nicodemus said, “How can a man who is already old be born again? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born a second time?”

Now when I was born, it was pretty bad. My mom was in labor for hours and hours and hours. And the doctors actually forgot about her, because she had been in labor so long. When they finally realized where she was, they realized they had to do a C-section, because my head was stuck inside my mother. I was already born once by my mom and dad, I don’t wanna have to do that again.

So Jesus tries to explain what he means to Nicodemus.

5 Jesus answered, “Believe me when I say that everyone must be born from water(that’s the first birth) and the Spirit(that’s the second birth). Anyone who is not born from water and the Spirit cannot enter God’s kingdom. 6 The only life people get from their human parents is physical. But the new life that the Spirit gives a person is spiritual. 7 Don’t be surprised that I told you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants to. You hear it, but you don’t know where it is coming from or where it is going. It is the same with everyone who is born from the Spirit.”

Jesus refers to our first birth as born from water. What happens that is the sign that the woman is about to give birth? Her water breaks. After your mom’s water broke, then you were born. Amazing, when you think about it. The fact that a woman’s body is made to produce another life. It’s a miracle in itself.

But then Jesus refers to being born of the Spirit. So I was born 34 years ago, in 1985, when my moms water broke. But in 2013 I was born of the Spirit. I believed in Jesus, at one of those church services in 2013, and truly believed that Jesus was my savior, and so I was at that moment born again by the Holy Spirit. I was born a second time of the Spirit.

And I changed. My whole life changed. I got clean from weed pills and dxm. I quit smoking and drinking. I stopped sleeping around, and started worshiping God. I was born again.

But Jesus also says that “the wind blows wherever it wants to. You hear it, but you don’t know where its coming or going.” And that’s really true. We can’t see the wind. But we can hear it when it blows against the trees, or whips past us when we walk along the road. And it’s the same way with the spiritual birth.

We don’t really know who is born again by Jesus. There isn’t really anything physical that I can 100% tell if you are born again. You don’t get a halo over your head that tells me yes that person is born of the Spirit, born again. The same way the wind blows and we can’t see it, its the same with people who are born of the Spirit, we don’t know who they and aren’t. We can’t see any physical change.

Like many of you have been coming to dinner church faithfully for 3 months now, but I still don’t know truly which of you are born again Christians, and which of you are still not there yet. And it’s OK if you’re not there that. This stuff takes time. I didn’t get it right away. But I kept showing up week in and week out, and eventually it started to make sense. So that’s OK.

So Jesus tells Nicodemus all this, and 9 Nicodemus asked, “How is all this possible?”

10 Jesus said, “You are an important teacher of Israel, and you still don’t understand these things? 11 The truth is, we talk about what we know. We tell about what we have seen. But you people don’t accept what we tell you. 12 I have told you about things here on earth, but you do not believe me. So I’m sure you will not believe me if I tell you about heavenly things! 13 The only one who has ever gone up to heaven is the one who came down from heaven—the Son of Man.

You know what’s really interesting about what Jesus says here? He doesn’t say “I” he says “We” testify. Jesus is not alone, God the Father, and the God the Spirit are with Him. Remember how we’ve talked about the fact that God is a trinity, three separate persons, but one true God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They all were there when Jesus spoke to Nicodemus. And the same is true if you are a Christian. The Trinity is always with you when you’re a follower of Jesus. Living inside you.

Nicodemus didn’t understand and he comments how the people of Israel didn’t want to believe him. They didn’t want to listen or understand. They figured that it was too hard to understand, or it didn’t make sense, or it was’t for them.

And I’m sure some of you think that. Well, I’m just a farmer. I’m not smart enough to understand that. I’m just a homeless lady, I’m just a trucker, or an alcoholic, or I just like big trucks and mudding, and parties, this can’t be for me. Right?

Wrong! This is for you. This is for everyday, average people. This is for hurting people, lost people, sinning people, people who are salt of the Earth types. Jesus is for you. It’s not too hard. It’s not too complicated. It’s not just out of reach. It’s right here, and Jesus is calling you to Him. It’s for you, yes, even you.

Trust me. I didn’t get it either. I didn’t understand. I didn’t want it. But it’s the best thing ever. Jesus Christ is everything. And you can have Him. Just receive Him. Start with that much. Jesus you are my savior. Simple, believe in Him. Believe Jesus is who He said He is. God come to save you.

So in closing today, we see that just after this encounter, we see the most quoted part of the Bible: where it says: 16 Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world. He did not send him to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him. 18 People who believe in God’s Son are not judged guilty. But people who do not believe are already judged, because they have not believed in God’s only Son.