Have you been born again? Do you know what this metaphor even means—and why Jesus used it to confront a Bible teacher named Nicodemus? And what about the metaphor of wind or the imagery of the snake on the pole? And why didn’t Jesus just use plain English… or maybe Greek?
Join me for episode 8, where Aaron Brewster and I discuss the True Story of Nicodemus from John 3:1-21.
Where else can I listen to the podcast?
- Guest: AM Brewster
- Bible Passage: John 3:1-21
- Freebie: Season 1: “The True Stories of Jesus” Bible Readings & Discussion Guide
- Mentioned Resources:
- Music: Cade Popkin Music
AM BrewsterAMBrewster is the president of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its acclaimed parenting podcast. Aaron is a husband, father, biblical counselor, pastor, and speaker. He’s created hundreds of hours of free parenting resources including The Celebration of God Podcast.
Know the Story
Here’s the comic that Aaron shared with us:
Share the Story (which John 3:16 is part of)
Often when we talk about “sharing the Gospel” we mean trying to distill deep theological truths down to a snack size passage, which we think is easier to give away. If you’ve ever learned a Gospel presentation or shared a tract, most likely John 3:16 was part of it, because it does succinctly share some of the basic truths of the Gospel.
But when we share a story, like this one about Nicodemus, it’s easier to hold onto. When you share a story from the Bible, it doesn’t feel like sharing doctrine, but you are. Sharing this story of Nicodemus is like opening your velvet pouch, filled with theological gems, and offering them to another person.
I hope you’ll take the challenge I offered at the midroll, and get this story ready to share with a friend or loved one this week.
LIVE the Story
How can we live like this story is true? Here are several ways:
- Am I living like it’s true that people must be born again to enter the kingdom? How am I living like this story is NOT true?
- Being born spiritually is like being born physically; I offer nothing to accomplish my own birth. What would it look like to live like this is true?
- Salvation is also like looking at the snake on the pole. It’s true that I can’t save myself, yet it is my responsibility to lift my eyes and look to Jesus for salvation. Have I done this? (Please use the contact form if you want to talk more about this!)
- When Israelites were dying of snake bites, they could look at the bronze snake Moses lifted up on a pole and escape death. When I am dying of my sin, I can look to Jesus, my Savior who was lifted up on a cross, and escape eternal death.Can I save myself? No. But I can look to Jesus and live.
- I have a spiritual, immaterial part of me which is like the wind: I can’t see it, but it is real. This is the part of me which must be “born again”. Have I had this spiritual birth?
- Jesus told Nicodemus he couldn’t even see the Kingdom of God unless he was born again, which was potentially quite offensive, given that Nicodemus thought of himself as the leader of the “Kingdom Launch Team”. The truth hurts, but that doesn’t mean it’s unloving. Jesus loved Nicodemus. He wanted him to be part of the kingdom, and by God’s grace this conversation was part of Nicodemus entering. Who do I need to invite into the kingdom by offering potentially offensive truth?
Can You Help?
If you loved this episode, will you consider helping spread the word by sharing it with a few friends? And if I share your review from Apple Podcasts on a future episode, I’ll send you a free Live Like It’s True t-shirt!
Season One Bible Readings
Throughout season one, we’re discussing the True Stories of Jesus. At the end of each episode, I’m inviting you to open your Bible and read the story for yourself.
Sign up HERE for your Season One Bible Reading & Discussion Guide. This Freebie includes all of the True Stories of Jesus that we’ll be talking through during season one, plus some ways for you to think through what each story reveals about Jesus and how to live like the story is true! Designed for you to use
- The True Story on Fear
- The True Story of the Lonely Places
- The True Story of Nicodemus
As a bonus, you’ll also get a set of my “True Story” two-page studies, including:
- The True Story of Jonah
- The True Story of Rahab
- The True Story on Mt. Caramel