Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
Nicodemus, an esteemed Jewish leader, was searching. He found Jesus one night and met with Him in an out-of-the-way room for a private discussion. During their time together, Jesus explained that the human heart must experience new birth. We must be “born again.” Nicodemus took some time to consider Jesus and His teaching.
The leaders were steeped in their legalistic approach to God. They were convinced that God judged them on performance. They had studied the law for years, had grown in status and position, and were not about to let a teacher from Galilee step into their realm of influence. Then Nicodemus, a fellow religious leader, showed interest in Jesus. The other leaders’ condemnation of Nicodemus was as severe as their condemnation of Jesus.
Pride is a barrier to Jesus. Like the religious leaders, many are convinced that they have personally discovered the way to God. From their checklists of religious duties, they use baptisms, confirmations, first communions, and a litany of other liturgical practices in an attempt to work their way to heaven. Sadly, many will discover too late that salvation is found in Jesus alone. Have you accepted the free gift of God? Or are you still writing your own religious playbook?
Father, I pray for those still trying to work their way to You. Please open their hearts and allow them to understand Your great grace and great provision through Jesus Christ. In His name. Amen.
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