What Jesus Did! 'Things Only Jesus Can Show' — John 3:8-12

Thursday, February 13, 2014

"The wind blows where it wants to go. You hear the wind blow. But you don't know where the wind comes from or where the wind is going. It is the same with every person that is born from the Spirit." Nicodemus asked, "How can all this be possible?" Jesus said, "You are an important teacher of Israel (the Jews). But you still don't understand these things? I tell you the truth. We talk about what we know. We tell about what we have seen. But you people don't accept what we tell you. I have told you about things here on earth. But you do not believe me. So surely you will not believe me if I tell you about the things of heaven!"
— John 3:8-12
Illustration of John 3:8-12 — "The wind blows where it wants to go. You hear the wind blow. But you don't know where the wind comes from or where the wind is going. It is the same with every person that is born from the Spirit."

Key Thought

Jesus wants to drive home the essential point with Nicodemus. That point? Jesus is the authority on all things spiritual, especially spiritual rebirth. If a respected teacher and leader like Nicodemus cannot understand the things of heaven, then who can explain them? Who can show the way? Only one—Jesus! He is "from above." He knows the Father's will and came to reveal it to us. He knows the path to spiritual rebirth and has come to share it. He knows because he has been there and he has seen it. Jesus is saying to Nicodemus, "Let me teach you, O teacher. Let me lead you, O leader!" He comes to us and says the same thing. "Learn from me, dear child, I long to give you the things of heaven, the things no one else can give." This is Jesus' personal invitation to Nicodemus, and to us. Jesus calls us to follow his journey to the Cross and beyond. He wants to give us genuine and lasting life. Will we follow?

Today's Prayer

Create in me, O God, a searcher's heart. Make me hungry to know your will and your Son more completely. As I follow Jesus through his ministry, capture my heart, fire my imagination and conquer my will so that I can receive what only Jesus can give and so that I can understand what only Jesus can explain. It is in his name, the glorious Christ and Savior, I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

There was a man named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was one of the Pharisees. He was an important Jewish leader. One night Nicodemus came to Jesus. Nicodemus said, "Teacher, we know that you are a teacher sent from God. No person can do these miracles that you do without God's help." Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born again. If a person is not born again, then that person cannot be in God's kingdom." Nicodemus said, "But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? A person cannot enter his mother's body again! So a person cannot be born a second time!" But Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born from water and the Spirit. If a person is not born from water and the Spirit, then he cannot enter God's kingdom. A person's body is born from his human parents. But a person's spiritual life is born from the Spirit. Don't be surprised that I told you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wants to go. You hear the wind blow. But you don't know where the wind comes from or where the wind is going. It is the same with every person that is born from the Spirit." Nicodemus asked, "How can all this be possible?" Jesus said, "You are an important teacher of Israel (the Jews). But you still don't understand these things? I tell you the truth. We talk about what we know. We tell about what we have seen. But you people don't accept what we tell you. I have told you about things here on earth. But you do not believe me. So surely you will not believe me if I tell you about the things of heaven! The only one that has ever gone up to heaven is the One that came down from heaven—the Son of Man. Moses lifted up the snake in the desert. It is the same with the Son of Man. The Son of Man must be lifted up too. Then every person that believes in the Son of Man can have life forever. Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that every person that believes in him would not be lost, but have life forever. God sent his Son into the world. God did not send his Son to judge the world guilty. God sent his Son so that the world could be saved through his Son. The person that believes in God's Son is not judged (condemned). But the person that does not believe is already judged. Why? Because that person has not believed in God's only Son. People are judged by this fact: The Light (goodness) has come into the world. But people did not want light. They wanted darkness (sin). Why? Because they were doing evil things. Every person that does evil hates the light. That person will not come to the light. Why? Because then the light will show all the bad things he has done. But the person that follows the true way comes to the light. Then the light will show that the things that person has done were done through God."

John 3:1-21

Related Scripture Readings

We teach wisdom to people that are mature. But this wisdom we teach is not from this world. It is not the wisdom of the rulers of this world. Those rulers are losing their power. But we speak God's secret wisdom. This wisdom has been hidden {from people}. God planned this wisdom for our glory. He planned it before the world began. None of the rulers of this world understood this wisdom. If they had understood it, then they would not have killed our glorious Lord on a cross. But like the Scriptures say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no person has imagined what God has prepared for those people that love him." But God has shown us these things through the Spirit. The Spirit knows all things. The Spirit even knows the deep secrets of God. It is like this: No person knows the thoughts that another person has. Only that person's spirit that lives inside him knows those thoughts. It is the same with God. No one knows the thoughts of God. Only the Spirit of God knows those thoughts. We did not receive the spirit of the world. But we received the Spirit that is from God. We received this Spirit so that we can know the things that God has given us. When we speak these things, we don't use words taught to us by the wisdom that men have. We use words taught to us by the Spirit. We use spiritual words to explain spiritual things. A person that is not spiritual does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. That person thinks that those things are foolish. That person cannot understand the things of the Spirit, because those things can only be judged spiritually.

1 Corinthians 2:6-14

But if any of you needs wisdom, then you should ask God for it. God is generous. He enjoys giving to all people. So God will give you wisdom.

James 1:5

That is why I always remember you in my prayers and always thank God for you. I have always done this since the time I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God's people. I always pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ—to the glorious Father. I pray that he will give you the Spirit that will show you things about God and help you understand them. Then you will really know God. I pray that God will open your minds to see his truth. Then you will know the hope that God has chosen us to have. You will know that the blessings God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious.

Ephesians 1:15-18

Comments

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.