Day 11 – So You Think You’re Religious?

Reading: John 3:1-21
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
(Joh 3:1)

The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
(Joh 3:2)

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
(Joh 3:3)

Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
(Joh 3:4)

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
(Joh 3:5)

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
(Joh 3:6)

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
(Joh 3:7)

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
(Joh 3:8)

Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
(Joh 3:9)

Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
(Joh 3:10)

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
(Joh 3:11)

If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
(Joh 3:12)

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
(Joh 3:13)

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
(Joh 3:14)

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
(Joh 3:15)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
(Joh 3:16)

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
(Joh 3:17)

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
(Joh 3:18)

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
(Joh 3:19)

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
(Joh 3:20)

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
(Joh 3:21)

Today’s verse:

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.” (John 3:11)

Jesus continues to reach Nicodemus in the heart of his religious beliefs. Nicodemus is not only a good Jew; he is a teacher; he is a leader; he is the ultimate Jew, a Pharisee. Yet Jesus does not allow Nicodemus’ prestige to gain him entrance to heaven. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Jesus emphatically tells Nicodemus that despite all his knowledge, Nicodemus still does not believe their witness and testimony!

Nicodemus suffered from what all very “religious” people suffer. He knows so much and has lived so long that he believes he can no longer be taught any truth. He relies on his religious knowledge to be enough to get him to heaven. Jesus reprimanded many Pharisees in the Book of Matthew and called them all hypocrites. Nicodemus was recognized as a leader by Jesus in our earlier reading. But Jesus goes further in this next verse by telling the Pharisees that not only were they not going to enter heaven but they were preventing their congregation from going to heaven as well! Oh my!!

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” (Matthew 23:13)

WE are responsible for our OWN salvation, not a religious leader.

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” (Titus 2:11)

Dear God…
Please help me to see
Your truth and testimony.
Help me to receive by faith
Your salvation so full and free!

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