Text: John 3: 1- 3
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him. Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” Amen,
The main opposition to Jesus’ ministry was the Jewish leaders. Quite apart from the fact that they made the law too cumbersome by their interpretations so that the ordinary believer could never live up to its expectations, they themselves never really lived the law.
But that was not all; they actually followed Jesus everywhere and always tried to trap Him with complicated questions that should let Him (Jesus) implicate Himself. Their aim was to base on His supposed ‘blasphemy’ to put an end to His ministry and life, if possible. Sometimes they came asking, “Are you the Messiah?” At other times, the ask Him to prove Himself, give them a sign or tell His opinion on the law (just to see if He would contradict Moses).
Jesus, however, never played their game. His wisdom could always discern the real motives behind their approach. He rather took advantage of their questions and persistence to teach us more about God and His desires for us in life. On some few occasions, though, He rebuked them and exposed their hypocrisy.
One day, at night, a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council called Nicodemus came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Wow! So they knew that Jesus was sent from above with a mission? They even knew that the miracles that followed Jesus’ ministry were from God too? No wonder Jesus never paid attention to what they said of Him except to take advantage and preach the gospel to them.
And in this case, after coming out at night to reveal in secret what they actually knew and thought of Jesus, instead of the latter jubilating that finally He’s been understood, accepted, vindicated and proven true, He rather said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” What a contrast!
Beloved, don’t you think that sometimes you try too hard to explain yourself to everyone for their acceptance? You live and do everything to please everyone so that they may like you and stop opposing your good works. Well; maybe you don’t have to continue like that. Because, mostly, THEY KNOW! Their antagonistic reactions to you is actually because they know you try to be the best you can be and that puts them off. What if in doing your best, you become more accepted than they are? They have to stop you by questioning your very source, orientation, authenticity and destination.
And there you are; halting your pursuance to be the best God wants you to be, just to answer each of their questions — to please them, when you should be pleasing God with your actions and thoughts. Think about this, because you may not be realizing that stopping the good work to answer everyone who questions “who you are, where you have come from, what you are doing here, where you are going” etc, will slow your pace and shift your focus. Rather, take advantage of their scrutiny to explain your work and purpose further, respecting everyone but seeking to please GOD ALONE. There’s no pleasing man!
Meditate on this and begin to pray. Ask for grace to remain focused even when there’s every attempt to halt or shift your goal. Stop proving yourself everywhere for acceptance. They know, and it puts them off. They know you are from God. They know that no one can do what you do by grace unless God is with him or her. They know! So you too focus on the mission and refuse to be distracted!