Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?” John 3:10
Nicodemus had the Old Testament Scriptures, not the New. The words born again do not occur in the Old Testament, but Jesus makes it quite clear that a person who had a proper understanding of the Old Testament should be able to grasp this teaching.
- Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).
- “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts” (Jer. 31:33).
- “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean… I will give you a new heart… I will put my Spirit within you…” (Ezek. 36:25, 26, 27).
In other words, Jesus is saying, “You are the teacher of Israel, and you do not understand that people come to live under the blessing of God’s rule when he gives them an infusion of new life in which they are cleansed and renewed?”
Here is a man who knows the Bible well and yet has missed its central message. Many of us may be in the same position—Bible-believing people who somehow have missed the central point.
Would it be a true description of your life today that you are giving yourself to a sustained attempt at living a God-honoring life, but there is little joy? Where is the love? Where is the peace that is the evidence of life in the Holy Spirit?