“Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” John 3:1-2 (NIV)
Nicodemus recognizes Jesus as a teacher from God. A teacher is one who is able to impart truth and wisdom for life. Teaching can take place in different ways, but, at the end of the day, a teacher is one from whom you learn.
A teacher from God is one who has divine authority and must be obeyed. Many churches teach what Nicodemus grasped: “Jesus is a teacher from God. He has come to show us how to live. We are to walk in the way of Jesus. That means loving God and loving our neighbor.”
Nicodemus grasped all that. We know that you are a teacher from God. We know that you have come to show us how to live God’s way. But telling us how to live is something that God had already done. God’s people already had the Ten Commandments, written by the finger of God 1,500 years earlier. When Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself,” he was only repeating what had already been revealed in the Old Testament.
To Nicodemus, Jesus is just another teacher, like Moses and the prophets, who comes from God to tell us what to do. Notice, when Nicodemus describes him as teacher, Jesus does not say, “Nicodemus, you got it wrong there.” He adds to what Nicodemus says, but he does not take away. No one can claim Christ as savior who is not ready to submit to him as teacher. Christ is never less than teacher to his people. He is not less than the law but thank God he is much more!
Do you see more in Jesus than just being a great teacher? What else?