Let there be no doubt. The signs that Jesus was doing were obvious to the religious rulers. They knew that after 400 years of silence, God was with Israel again. No one had any personal memory, no generation was yet alive from the last time God spoke through a prophet. All they had was their faith. Now comes this man to see Jesus who is doing unquestionable signs from God. (Nic, I sometimes like to call him that for short.) He comes in the dark, afraid of his fellow leaders to confess to Jesus. First Nicodemus calls him Rabbi. The Pharisee, a believer in resurrection and Jewish ruler addresses Jesus as teacher. The signs are so great that in first meeting, he uses a term of respect. Was Nicodemus a seeker? His heart is such that he uses this term. At least he was certain it was warranted because of the crowds already following Jesus and stirred up because of the many signs. He knew that no one could do these things unless they were sent by God. Here, a man elevated to a ruling position, recognizes and honors One who he already knows is closer to God than he is. “God is with Him” of this he is certain. In fact, not just Nicodemus knows this, but the entire ruling party he represents, for he uses “we know”. Jesus is there to teach Israel. The fact is made clear by the signs.
How does Jesus respond to this. Is it a question? A challenge? An honor? An appeal? Jesus skips over all the political implications of who Nicodemus represents and goes to the mans heart. Jesus is not waylaid by his position of power, Jesus speaks to the mans heart.
“Truly truly” the words of a teacher to call attention and listen carefully, don’t miss what he is about to say. “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
The heart of Nicodemus was for seeing Gods kingdom! Jesus speaks to save the mans soul. To invite him to where his own heart is longing for- Into Gods kingdom. But how? Here comes the whole truth, truth that surpasses what this religious and political pastor of the day in all his study already knew. “You must be born again” clearly these words make no sense to Nicodemus.
Jesus does not jump in with a long explanation. Jesus lets it sink in, gives him think time. He declares truth and then waits for a response.
Do I do that when I share truth with a seeker? Do I allow myself to even recognize the heart of the person who may be in a position of authority over me? Can I see beyond position to recognize a heart? Am I so living truth that seekers are drawn to me anyway? When that moment comes, whenever I am privileged that someone actually sees in my life a connection with God, do I turn my heart towards theirs?
Lord, let me follow you today, that no matter who I am with, I am willing to hear their own need for you under whatever uniform or position of authority they may have, even over me. Let me be more like you that I can speak a clear word , not a diatribe, but a word of truth and then be silent, and wait for their heart to respond.