Photo by: Nance Bove

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” John 3:4

 

Understanding

Written by Michael Herbert

 

Recently, I was flying out of Chicago and like most people had to pass through the regular TSA line. As I approached the line I could hear one of the workers giving verbal instructions to all that would hear. I’ve flown many times so the instructions were merely a reminder to me of the procedures I’ve already known and applied. I placed my suitcase on the conveyor belt when a TSA lady started yelling at me. I obviously had erred  along the way and needed to be made aware of it. The buckets to place your things in came from a conveyor belt from below and the TSA lady wanted me to place my suitcase in the bucket. Although this seemed simply to understand yet there were two conveyor belts and my best efforts to do this correctly were not working. To make matters worse the TSA lady kept repeating the same thing which she couldn’t figure out wasn’t working for me to understand.  Finally, I interrupted her and I don’t understand what you are saying. I’m somewhat of a smart man, flown many times so this isn’t my first go of this. Maybe, I said to the TSA lady who need to explain it to me another way. She pondered on it for a second and said the same command another way which I understood.

Nicodemus was a smart man as well. A bible teacher , a well known religious figure, yet when Jesus told him he needed to be “Born Again” he could not understand what Jesus was saying. He earnestly wanted to know what Jesus was saying, but could not comprehend the way Jesus was saying it.  Jesus said to him Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (vs 7,8) Jesus was a master of using the natural things of this earth to illustrate a spiritual truth.  It still wasn’t enough for Nicodemus to understand,  Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?” (vs 9) After some poking on the part of Jesus he lays the simple Gospel out for Nicodemus to understand.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (vs 16) and  Nicodemus not only became “Born again”, but followed Jesus and played a major role after Jesus was taken down from the cross.

Like my TSA lady there are many different types of people you’ll run into in your life. The Gospel does not have a “one shoe fits all approach” nor are there any “cookie cutter” salvation’s. Every one meets Jesus broken and spiritually bankrupt,but the methodology we use to bring them to a saving knowledge of the Savior is unique as the person we are talking to. It’s always the Gospel,however, its the saying it in a way to understand. They are smart, have abilities to figure things out, but need the gospel expressed in a manner that is in their own language to grasp. Don’t go to step B until you are sure they understand step A. Water your words with the love of Jesus, like Jesus did with Nicodemus and you’re sure to having a winning combination.