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God Expects Much From You!

Rev. Enoch Thompson | February 17, 2024 | John 3:9-13


"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? John 3:10 (NIV)


When we are faced with the Word of God, we must respond one way or another. Nicodemus responded to the teaching about the new birth and its agency and processes with the question "How can this be?" (verse 9). It is not clear whether the question was one of doubt or one of disbelief. Either way, the doctrine presented to Nicodemus by the Lord was still meaningless and far-fetched. He could not understand it nor readily receive it.

The response of the Lord to the questioning by Nicodemus was a sharp rebuke, "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? John 3:10 (NIV). There are divine expectations of us in matters of doctrine and faith as well as character and moral standards. These expectations are based upon the exposure we have to the Word of God and the self-manifestations of God that we have been exposed to.

Nicodemus was a Jew, in the first place, and the Jews have had the privilege of the Old Testament Scriptures to which every Jew was immersed from childhood. In the second place, Nicodemus was a teacher in Israel; his position as a teacher and a leader for that matter made it necessary that he would have some understanding of what the Lord was talking about. The concept of the new birth should not be a completely new one to a Jew and a Jewish teacher (e.g. Ezekiel 36:25-27), and yet here we see a fumbling Nicodemus.


What opportunities have you had with Christ and His Word? What has been the effect of that exposure on you? Determine to maximize your opportunities with Christ and His Word from this time onwards, with the help of the Holy Spirit.


Lord, I am awed at the expectations you have of me, and of how sometimes I have squandered the opportunities you gave me for spiritual knowledge and character changes. I ask that you help me by your Holy Spirit to make the most of every opportunity from this point onwards. For your dear Name’s sake, Amen.




DAILY word study: TEACHER

The word translated as "teacher" in this verse is "διδάσκαλος" (didaskalos), which refers to one who imparts knowledge, instructs, or teaches. In the context of Jewish society, a teacher held a significant role in interpreting and transmitting religious teachings and traditions to others.

Throughout the New Testament, the term "teacher" is often used to refer to individuals who had a teaching ministry within the early Christian community. Jesus Himself is referred to as a teacher (Matthew 8:19, Mark 4:38, John 13:13), and He appointed certain individuals, such as the apostles, to teach and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Paul also speaks of the gift of teaching within the body of Christ (Romans 12:7, Ephesians 4:11).

Jesus acknowledges Nicodemus's role as a teacher of Israel, recognizing his influence and authority within the Jewish religious community. However, Jesus also challenges Nicodemus to move beyond his position of authority and status to embrace spiritual truths that go beyond human wisdom and understanding. This encounter highlights the importance of humility and openness to God's revelation, even for those in positions of leadership and influence.


In our own lives, how do we exercise the role of teacher or influencer among those around us? Are we faithful stewards of the knowledge and wisdom entrusted to us, using our positions of influence to guide others toward a deeper understanding of God's truth and His will for their lives?

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