Nicodemus, victim of teachings of his time
Joh 3:2 The sameG3778 cameG2064 toG4314 JesusG2424 by night,G3571 andG2532 saidG2036 unto him,G846 Rabbi,G4461 we knowG1492 thatG3754 thou art a teacherG1320 comeG2064 fromG575 God:G2316 forG1063 no manG3762 canG1410 doG4160 theseG5023 miraclesG4592 thatG3739 thouG4771 doest,G4160 exceptG3362 GodG2316 beG5600 withG3326 him.G846
Joh 3:3 JesusG2424 answeredG611 andG2532 saidG2036 unto him,G846 Verily,G281 verily,G281 I sayG3004 unto thee,G4671 ExceptG3362 a manG5100 be bornG1080 again,G509 he cannotG1410 G3756 seeG1492 theG3588 kingdomG932 of God.G2316
Joh 3:5 JesusG2424 answered,G611 Verily,G281 verily,G281 I sayG3004 unto thee,G4671 ExceptG3362 a manG5100 be bornG1080 ofG1537 waterG5204 andG2532 of the Spirit,G4151 he cannotG1410 G3756 enterG1525 intoG1519 theG3588 kingdomG932 of God.G2316
Looking at the nature of Nicodemus's position in the Jewish religious system. And considering the "new way" Jesus is teaching and preaching. I longed to under stand the confusion many encountered when they heard Jesus speak. Word usage floated to the top of my mind. Use or improper use of words often lead to the demise of kings and kingdoms in times past. People did not consider the application of the word before they acted. We often see that today.
Based on my new understanding I embarked on a word study to understand why Nicodemus could not grasp the concept of the kingdom of God. Be born again, see and kingdom of God seemed troubling to Nicodemus. In their system under the Law converts to Judaism went through a ritual including the removal of the foreskin. Now Jesus was talking about a process that Nicodemus could not physically see. Also he likely knew of the process where a pregnant woman got on a birthing stool and a mid-wife helped her to push a baby out, or give birth. The process resulted in a child being born into the world. Yet, Jesus was speaking of a man or woman being born into a kingdom? The kingdom of God was a great mystery to him also because under their system they had taken God out of the process.
1Sa 8:7 And the LORDH3068 saidH559 untoH413 Samuel,H8050 HearkenH8085 unto the voiceH6963 of the peopleH5971 in allH3605 thatH834 they sayH559 untoH413 thee: forH3588 they have notH3808 rejectedH3988 thee, butH3588 they have rejectedH3988 me, that I should not reignH4480 H4427 overH5921 them.
The further they got away from 1Samuel 8:7 the deeper the rejection of God ran. Now they were a people who knew more about religion than God. This is beginning to sound familiar to me. Very close to something I hear in my lifetime. When councils and conferences decide what God will get as opposed to what he demands and commands. We have created our own religion.
The process Jesus spoke of was and still is a regeneration, not to be born or slip into a place and immediately begin to die as we as humans do, but to be regenerated recognizing God as the supreme being and begin to live. Nicodemus as a Jewish leader could not see as to know this process that Jesus spoke of. Men and women have problems with this process today because they will not hear and understand the Gospel as God's truth. They are not able to know that death of a regenerated body leads to life eternal. They will believe anything including people claim to be able to raise them from the dead. They do not realize that flesh and blood will no go to heaven. Nicodemus was likely thinking of the great temple on the mount as the kingdom of God. Nicodemus could not conceive of the kingdom of God that Jesus spoke of. Jesus was not speaking of a physical building that could be destroyed as the Temple was. Jesus was speaking of the glorious church. The Realm where God puts those who hear, believe, and obey the words of his son. The kingdom of God is ruled by God and only he can add souls to it. Some men today may think it is the building sitting on the corner where men can steal cooling systems, or a pipe can burst and ruin carpet and furniture. That building is only where the church meets. Again one does not physically see the church.
I for one trust Jesus when he said: Joh 3:5 JesusG2424 answered,G611 Verily,G281 verily,G281 I sayG3004 unto thee,G4671 ExceptG3362 a manG5100 be bornG1080 ofG1537 waterG5204 andG2532 of the Spirit,