Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?(vs 10).Standing in front of Jesus is a man described in vs 1 as a Pharisee and ruler of Israel. In today's diction he could pass for a theologian and a bible scholar.
In Nicodemus, we find a truth that should guide us all in life and especially in our Christian walk. We can know many things yet not know the truth. Jesus' question was one of an expression of surprise. I can imagine the face with which He asked that question. He definitely was amazed. His question indicates to us that the idea of born again is in the Scriptures and not necessarily a new idea. Nicodemus being a master, Rabbi should have known, but, he only knew half-truth, which is no truth at all.
In Acts 18 also, we see another man who knew so many things yet didn't know the truth. "...Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures..."(Acts 18:24).
Mighty in Scriptures! What a way to describe a person. However, as mighty as Apollos was in Scripture, he didn't know the whole truth. He was an eloquent man. He can preach! But what he had was half-truth:
This man[Apollos] was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.( Acts 18:25-26).What a shock! Preacher man finished preaching and a couple, church members called him aside to "expound unto him the way of God more perfectly. This can't happen in our generation. We are gagged! We take everything hook, line and sinker-no questions asked. We can't grow and mature that way.
Regardless of what you hear and from whom, verify. One of the many things I am grateful to God for is that in my life I have people around me who can call me to question when I make a false statement not in line with Scripture. I have personal critics. I don't just write or say things "by heart"( someone is reading me, he knows himself, he will call me to book if I twist Scriptures). In the process, my beliefs have been challenged. I have dropped off some "lies" on the way. I can confidently say with Paul that "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1 Corinthian 13:11).
I want to appeal to you my friends; be careful of blind faith and half truths. Your Pastor, mentor or favourite author doesn't know it all. No matter how gifted, charismatic or anointed a preacher is, don't take them as final authority. It is your responsibility to know the truth. The plumb line for truth is Holy Scripture, not the words of your pastor or anyone else. A person can be highly gifted and successful in ministry, yet speaks half-truth. I am not inciting rebellion, I am calling for a life that is lived with a high value of Scripture. If a message or statement contradicts with Scriptures, don't just accept it because it is coming from your favourite. "Deep" is not necessarily true. "Deep" could just be "the enticing words of man's wisdom". Nicodemus was a master, he should have known about being born again, yet he didn't.
My prayer for you this morning is the prayer of Paul for the Ephesians:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints" (Ephesians 1:18).