Max McLean Audio Bible, English Standard Version
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.
3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit born from above; the Greek is purposely ambiguous and can mean both again and from above; also verse 7]. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You [you is plural here] must be born again.’ 8 The wind [the same Greek word means both wind and spirit] blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you [plural] do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man [who is in heaven] . 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
What is the Good News? God knew what is in man's heart.... And He chose to be flesh and dwell among us, full of grace and truth. And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
The intersection of the cross is Spirit meeting Physical, the outcome an outpouring of Grace. Forgiveness.
Jesus, son of God, has one man Nicodemus come to him at night - away from the crowds. Part of the ruling class at God's Temple. Jesus did not turn Nicodemus away - Jesus didn't even sigh at a long day. Jesus didn't ask us to be mature Christians who were intellectually stimulating - to make interesting theological conversation for Him.
What did Nicodemus expect from telling Jesus, "“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him” ? Nicodemus came deliberately at night to seek away forward with a Rabbi (teacher) the Temple was growing rapidly to mistrust and fear. Nicodemus probably rehearsed what to say for the audacity, rudeness and the honor of appearing to Jesus. Nicodemus - as well as Spiritual guidance- might have told himself if the man preens at these words - then Jesus seeks fame. If Jesus goes into a long teaching message, perhaps Jesus needs to be a teacher of the law. Maybe, just maybe, Nicodemus was helping Jesus find a more workable career path - to make the way easier for Jesus and for the Temple. Even if Nicodemus arrived at night, he was a good man (we see by his actions to Jesus' body and being excluded from the night trial of the Lord), working towards peace and finding a Savior.
Jesus continued to say:
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and (remember Nicodemus came to seek Jesus at night, away from the crowds) people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”Did Jesus stick around Jerusalem to see if Nicodemus was going to approve of their late night talk? Jesus needed no one to bear witness about man :
22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing.
What is Jesus telling Nicodemus? Jesus was already doing what He was born to do. To speak with God, the conversation goes like the wind of the Spirit. Nicodemus is not going to outmaneuver Jesus. Jesus says, Nicodemus, there needs to be a time in life we point to where we turn to things of the Holy Spirit and we can see ourselves g-ROW as a Spiritual being.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Nicodemus came to hear, but also to withhold the honor of a visit - to seek "knowledge" about a teacher. Would Nicodemus really have come at night if he truly believed Jesus was sent by God? If so, it was not the way the Temple would have taught Nicodemus to treat things of God, more like Caesar's coin for Temple politics. Jesus didn't break the bruised reed, but instead kindled the flame in Nicodemus.
1 Corinthians 13:
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Jesus, ruler of all things made, lived this passage of Love to Nicodemus. It isn't what you know, it's how you care.
Father God! In You - we live and move and have our being! You are the Lord God Almighty, making the world and everything in it. You do not live in temples built by hands. not served by human hands. Because You give all life and breath. Your Spirit gives life.
Life in abundance to You is us putting ourselves in attitudes of holiness, but realizing we don't have to be anything but comfortable with You.
We are the sheep of Your pasture. You determine the times set for us and the exact places where we should live. Father God we seek You. You are not far from each one of us. In each season of our lives, let us be workers for Your will. Let us be swept up in Your Wind. Give us grateful hearts to praise the blessings You give us. Give us willing minds to be disciplined in Your ways. Give us and let us be a kind word and encouragement for those following Your path today and the wisdom ready knowing You know the path of those around us better than we do. As Jesus taught Nicodemus and kindled his spirit into flame, help us to do that in Your ways, speaking the truth in love.
Jesus. The LORD saves! Amen.