Message: Reading in John 3 we see a Pharisee named Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night, after the crowds were gone. I’ve heard this story speculated to say that he didn’t want anyone to see him or recognize him because he was ashamed, or afraid because he was a religious leader and the religious leaders were trying to take Jesus down. I can’t say for sure what the real reason was, but I wonder if he just wanted to have a one-on-one conversation with Jesus without the distraction of others to get his questions answered. Lots of Pharisees and other religious leaders came to ask questions, but the response they got was very different. Those that came in the day came with motives to try to trip Jesus up with his words because they had an agenda. We know this because Jesus saw right through their motives and answered them in a way that let them know that he knew. Some of the questions he refused to answer because he knew they were a set up. Something different was going on with Nicodemus. He asked questions with follow up questions with an attitude of learning and Jesus answered his questions.
Command: Approach God humbly with an attitude and heart or learning and growth.
Promise: God will answer genuine questions with a genuine answer.
Warning: God sees the motive of our questions, and he will answer them according to our motives.
Application: As I read this I thought about how we approach God and how we approach reading his word. Do we have a motive to prove something we already believe, or do we approach God humbly because we want to learn. I think this makes all of the difference when we study God’s word. Our approach will determine whether we elevate our pride and move further from him, or whether we approach humbly with our silliest sounding questions so that God can answer them. My challenge to myself is to read with fresh eyes. Instead of looking at ideas that have been preached, or sound the most church-like, I’m asking God to show me things in his word that are more obscure and teach me.