was sa$ed, not because he obeyed laws that didn’t exist, but because he had faith in +od and had trusted that +od would keep his promises" %he apostle 9ohn makes the same sort of point in an entirely different way as he tells of the encounter of 9esus with :icodemus the 3harisee in
+ow there was a 3harisee, a man named +icodemus who was a member of the 4ewish rulin council.
-e came to 4esus at niht and said, “5abbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. /or no one could perform the sins you are doin if God were not with him.$
4esus replied, “6ery truly I tell you, no one can see the kindom of God unless they are born aain.$
“-ow can someone be born when they are old($ +icodemus asked. “&urely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born7$
4esus answered, “6ery truly I tell you, no one can enter the kindom of God unless they are born of water and the &pirit.
/lesh i#es birth to flesh, but the &pirit i#es birth to spirit.
8ou should not be surprised at my sayin, 98ou must be born aain.’
The wind blows where#er it pleases. 8ou hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is oin. &o it is with e#eryone born of the &pirit.$
“-ow can this be($ +icodemus asked.
“8ou are Israel’s teacher,$ said 4esus, “and do you not understand these thins(
6ery truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we ha#e seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
I ha#e spoken to you of earthly thins and you do not belie#e! how then will you belie#e if I speak of hea#enly thins(
+o one has e#er one into hea#en e=cept the one who came from hea#en*the &on of >an.
4ust as >oses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the &on of >an must be lifted up,
that e#eryone who belie#es may ha#e eternal life in him.$
/or God so lo#ed the world that he a#e his one and only &on, that whoe#er belie#es in him shall not perish but ha#e eternal life.
/or God did not send his &on into the world to condemn the world, but to sa#e the world throuh him.
:icodemus was a 3harisee, one of those people who learned, memorized and kept the commandments, the laws, and the hundreds of rules that the rabbis had written" %his man comes to 9esus because he is terribly confused" '$erything that he had been taught, tells him you ha$e to follow 5the rules6 and e$erything he has seen tells him that 9esus has come from +od" (e knows that 9esus could not do the things that he has been doing, preaching, teaching, and performing miracles, if +od was not with him" But 9esus doesn’t follow the rules and neither do his followers! and :icodemus can’t figure out how to fit those two things together"'$erything that :icodemus has learned from the rabbis and the 3harisees tells him that 9esus
from +od, but e$erything that he knows about +od and e$erything he has witnessed tells him that 9esus
from +od" 9esus just confuses the poor man e$en further with an answer that talks about being born again" ;or 9esus, the answer is all about the #pirit of +od" 9esus says that people who ha$e been born of the #pirit are like the wind" You see the things that they are doing, but the things that they do are not always as predictable as the rules and the people who follow them" 2nstead of using the rules as a measure of righteousness, 9esus uses the example of the snake that )oses lifted up in the wilderness" 3eople were dying left, right and center from snake bites, but all they had to do was look at the bronze snake that )oses put up, and they were healed" <