In reading my morning’s devotion, I came across this paragraph by Matthew Henry’s Commentary on John 3:
“The objection which Nicodemus still made (v. 9): How can these things be? Christ’s explication of the doctrine of the necessity of regeneration, it should seem, made it never the clearer to him. The corruption of nature which makes it necessary, and the way of the Spirit which makes it practicable, are as much mysteries to him as the thing itself; though he had in general owned Christ a divine teacher, yet he was unwilling to receive His teachings when they did not agree with the notions he had imbibed. Thus many profess to admit the doctrine of Christ in general, and yet will neither believe the truths of Christianity nor submit to the Laws of it further than they please. Christ shall be their teacher, provided they may choose their lesson.”
Does this not explain our own situation, at times, and for the majority of Christians, most of the time?
You are aware of the story of Nicodemus, I’m sure. A good man but one who wanted to know further, from the Master Teacher Himself, how to obtain eternal salvation. How many of us would not fit this classification especially as it concerns our own salvation? Yet, when Christ gave him the formula to be successful, he, Nicodemus, would, not could, but “would” not understand because of preconceived ideas and opinion as how it should be. It is similar to me coming to you who specialize in a particular trade or subject, asking you a question and then I will proceed to tell you how I think it should be. This is truly many of our very own problem.
I learned a long time ago, “God does not care about our opinion.” This may come across harsh and unreasonable, but it is the truth nonetheless, “and I don’t either!” I have learned not to care about people’s opinion when it comes to life. Your opinion means nothing to me. However, can you tell me the “truth” about whatever it is we’re discussing? Can you give me the absolute truth without corrupting it with your preconceived ideas, customs and traditions? Can you simply give me truth?
This is what Christ was attempting to get across to Nicodemus. “You must be born again”. Here, Christ has given him the simple and absolute truth as to how to reach the goal of his life and here he is, Nicodemus, attempting to answer/question Christ using his own thinking, when it was his thinking which caused the question to begin with! Go figure, duh.
It will be our thinking which will get most of us into trouble. Now, that is not to say our brain is an absolute failure but it becomes such when we choose what we come up with over what the Bible says quite plainly. Why does it have to be so complicated when it is not? As Mr. Henry points out,
“…Thus many profess to admit the doctrine of Christ in general, and yet will neither believe the truths of Christianity nor submit to the Laws of it further than they please.”
You cannot arrive at your destination coming short of the destination. Doesn’t this make good sense? Wouldn’t you say what I have just given you is “absolute truth” and not “my opinion”? The Bible gives us simple truths we need to take ahold of and not question EXCEPT as to how we are differing NOW from it and THEN need to change whatever we need to change in our ways, thinking and get with the program.
STOP claiming what you are when you aren’t. I’m talking about being a “follower” of Christ. A Christian.
December 1, 2015