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Thursday, November 15, 2012

"If Anyone Has An Ear, Let Him Hear" # 6

However, even though the majority of the religious leaders did not hear Him nor recognize Him, and this is still  true today, God was ever on the move bringing about all that He intended in and through and unto Christ. If we look closely at all that took place during the Passover season that is mentioned in John 2:13-17, we will find that in the midst of all the corruption that was taking place in the temple, there was another man, a man of the Pharisees, a ruler of the Jews, a man who must have truly witnessed and heard much of what Jesus had done and said that day when He drove out the merchandisers. And this man's name was Nicodemus (John 3:1-21).

Thus, it was after the Lord Jesus had cleansed the temple, during this same Passover season, that Nicodemus "came to Jesus by night" and said: "Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him." Nicodemus said, "we know," so there must have been others who knew deep within themselves that this was "THE CHRIST." And the Word says, Jesus answered him, it says that Jesus responded to his question. Now, if we examine John 3:2, we will find that Nicodemus had not asked our Lord a question, but the Word of God says, that Jesus answered his question. We find our answer to this in John 2:25. Remember, in the original writings there are no chapter divisions or verses, chapters and verses have been supplied by scholars of the Bible to help us in our study of God's Word. Therefore, in John 2:25, we find that Jesus "needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man." And many times He manifested this knowing in the way He answered them.

Consequently our Lord knew that although Nicodemus had not voiced a question, there was a question in his heart. The Lord knew what was in Nicodemus' heart just as He knew what was in the hearts of the Jews when, after He had driven out the merchandisers, they asked Him: "What sign do You show to us, seeing that You do these things?" And Jesus knowing that they had murder in their hearts toward Him, answered their question accordingly: "Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up ... but He spake of the Temple of His body.

The Jews who asked Him this question had murder in their hearts, but Jesus knew that Nicodemus had something else in his; He knew that Nicodemus was saying in his heart: "Rabbi, Teacher, Master, I come to Thee that You may teach me the way of salvation." And Jesus answered and said unto him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee ... ye must be born again - ye must be born from above" (John 3:1-7).

Beloved, John 3:1-21 is one of the most important passages of Scripture in the Word of God,so we are going to quote it in detail. Because this passage of Scripture is so familiar to many of us, let us ask the Lord to help us to read and pray it "IN THE SPIRIT", for these Words "are Spirit, and they are life" - they are "Words of Eternal Life." And through the miracle of God's inspired Word, we are privileged to participate and to share in one of the most wonderful and personal conversations ever recorded between our Lord and man; a conversation so personal that it not only answered what was in Nicodemus' heart but it answers every heart that will ever cry: "Lord, show me the way of salvation." So let us listen with our heart, let us "hear what the Spirit saith," for these Words "are Spirit, and they are life" for all who hear and believe.

"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night and said unto Him, 'Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with Him.' Jesus answered and said unto him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Nicodemus saith unto Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?' Jesus answered, 'Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.' Nicodemus answered and said unto Him, 'How can these things be?' Jesus answered and said unto him, 'Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven but He That came down from heaven, even the Son of Man Which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the Only Begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.' "

Dear Friends, if you are reading these Words of Life, and your heart is crying out unto the Lord, just as the heart of Nicodemus: "Master, show me the way of salvation," the Lord's answer to you is the same as it was to Nicodemus: "Ye must be born again - ye must be born from above - ye must be born of the Spirit." And how is this possible? All you must do is believe in Jesus Christ the Lord, accept Him as your Lord and Saviour, and you shall have eternal life: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 7 - "Christ is Our Passover")

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