Know God’s Word!
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” (John 3:9-12)
Confessing his ignorance, Nicodemus is clueless over Jesus’ prior explanation of the necessity of being born again in order to enter the kingdom of God. Due to his lack of understanding, this teaching made no sense to Nicodemus, causing him to question the truth of it. Unfortunately, there are times when our ignorance blinds us to the truth. And yet, ignorance of the truth is no excuse for our lack of understanding. Jesus tells us that we fall into error when we do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. We find His words in Matthew:
“You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29)
Never forget that allScripture is God-breathed and profitable for us. Picking and choosing what we may or may not want to believe or understand is simply not an option. We are to take it as a whole or not at all. Paul tells us:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
King David said:
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 18:30)
Teachers are especially accountable for knowing the truth as they are responsible for leading others. When they wander from the truth, they lead others astray in their wake. Jesus came down hard on the Pharisees in regard to this:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Matthew 23:13)
James gives us fair warning regarding this as well:
Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1)
Hence, in our verses for today, Christ gives Nicodemus a reproof for his ignorance. Being one of Israel’s leading teachers he should have understood Jesus’ teaching.
Take It to Heart
I am reminded of the prophet Hosea’s words:
Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them. (Hosea 14:9)
“Lord, strengthen our faith, inflame our love, enlarge our views, support us in trials, guide us by thy counsel, and receive us into glory, that we may sing thy praises to all eternity. Amen.” (K. H. Von Bogatzky)
For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. (Psalm 18:31-33)