John 3: 3
Have you ever heard something that got your attention and you wanted to find out more? The time may have not been right for you to ask questions then, so you can back later. I remember one college class that more time was spent in the professors office than in the class room. He never turned me away even though my final grade was only a “c”. This must have been how Nicodemus was with Jesus.
In this conversation there must have been a lot more said than was recorded. Nicodemus accepts Jesus as a person sent by God and therefore has much more knowledge then he has. He may have asked how do we know we will see God in heaven? This would lead Jesus into teaching about being born again. The words that Jesus used had two meanings. The one recorded for us was to be “born again”, the other was “from above” with the connotation of being spiritual. Nicodemus took it to mean the physical rebirth.
Jesus is not trying to manipulate the conversation to bring out a new doctrine, rather he is bringing an old teaching to remembrance. Jesus is reminding Nicodemus that the spirit of God comes from above – or heaven. Isaiah 44: 3 Tells us that God will pour out his spirit upon the offspring of God’s people. The Spirit of God also comes in many forms including the wind. In Ezekiel 37: 9 the wind is called from the four corners and brings life into the dry bones. Proverbs 30: 5 continues this theme by stating that God is a refuge for those who trust in him.
Jesus is aware of how much of the word of God you know and have accepted. When we come to him, he will start from there and teach us what we need to know. The more we understand the more he will teach us. This is important for us to remember.
As we Imitate Christ we are to teach others from the spiritual condition they are in. I have seen preachers have services where people came to the alter and without talking to them say they were there for salvation. They may have also told those these same people that they need to ask God for salvation when they came to pray for someone else. There are also some that will try to manipulate the conversation rather than to lead the conversation toward spiritual matters. There is often a very fine line between manipulating and leading a conversation. Another pitfall we often encounter is that words may have a different meaning to others. To avoid these obstetrical we will need to ask questions of the other person and allow the Holy Spirit to guide the conversation.