Nicodemus said, “We know that you are a teacher come from God.” John 3:2
Jesus said, “You are a teacher from Israel and yet you do not know these things.” John 3:10
It’s safe to generalize. “We all think you should do this or that.” Or, “We all believe this is a problem.” The person speaking feels it’s safer to do this than share his own opinion. To personalize is so much more vulnerable.
John tells the story of Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night. The ruler of the Jews begins with a generalization. “We know that you are a teacher…” He must be speaking on behalf of a group. Other teachers? Other Pharisees? Who is ‘we’? Jesus quickly moves the topic to metaphors without pinning Nicodemus down. Eventually however, the moment comes. Jesus has spoken of new birth, the wind of the Holy Spirit, the contrast between things of the flesh and things of the Spirit, and all the while Nicodemus has been under the spotlight gaze of the Savior.
“You are a teacher from Israel, Nicodemus, and yet you do not know these things.”
Nicodemus began with ‘we know’. Jesus exposes his spiritually bankrupt understanding by telling him that he ‘doesn’t know.’
When it comes to the kingdom, what I believe I understand best may be the very thing I understand least. I’ve cut myself off to learn wisdom and understanding. I’m no longer asking questions. The most dangerous thing is to believe that the things of heaven work like the things of earth. Earthly comparisons rarely prove relevant. If I could have a talk with Nicodemus today, he might give this advice. “Christine, believe me. What you think you know, you probably don’t.”
What I do know is this ~ “I know whom I have believed.”
I am Your student who seeks understanding. I begin on my knees. Amen