John 3:9-13  The Importance of believing Jesus. 

Introduction:  It is important for you to know that you do not have to understand all the deep spiritual lessons of the Bible in order to be saved.  You must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.  That is to say that you must believe that Christ died for your sins.  Once you understand that you are a sinner, condemned to Hell, and in need of a savior you must go to Jesus in prayer and ask Him to save you from your sinful condition.  Being born again can not be explained to a lost person.  Nicodemus was far more intelligent when it comes to the Old Testament than you and I will ever be in this life.  Being a lost man kept him from understanding the spiritual things of the bible.  The only way to understand these things is to believe.  Once you have experienced trusting in Jesus Christ your eyes will be opened and you can begin to understand the “these things” of John 3:9.


John 3:9  Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

          Nicodemus after hearing the words of Jesus is still puzzled.  He still does not understand the things he has been told.  He does not understand yet that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God.  That is to say that Jesus is God.  Nicodemus does not understand that he is even now sitting face to face and talking with God almighty the very one who created all things.  Jesus in the words which he has spoken thus far is preparing the mind of Nicodemus to receive a great truth.  Jesus knows Nicodemus well and must lead him to where he needs to be in order that he might be saved.  Jesus knows you and He knows what words you need to hear that you might be able to understand how to be saved.  And though He makes His words plain to you He does not force you to accept the truth for which you have been prepared to receive.

          What are the “things” which Nicodemus refers to in this verse?  I want to point out that there are three “things” which Nicodemus has been told which he does not understand.  The first is the condition which must be met in order for a person to see or understand the Kingdom of God.  That condition is “born again” or  born from above”.   The second is the condition which must exist for a person to enter into the kingdom of God.  This condition is “being born of water even the Spirit”.  The third thing is the inability of man to see spiritual things.  He can only see manifestations of the spiritual birth the spiritual birth itself can not be seen. 

John 3:10  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

          Humility is a strong point of Nicodemus.  He has not been afraid or ashamed to admit he does not understand.  Jesus further expresses Nicodemus’ lack of understanding by pointing out that he is the master, that is to say the teacher of Israel, and yet does not know the most important step to understanding the spiritual kingdom of God.   To put this in its simplest terms Nicodemus does not even know how to be saved,  he does not know how to get to heaven and yet he is the teacher of Israel.  How can the students of this man be expected to know something that their teacher does not know?  It is not the heart condition of the witness but the Gospel itself which is the power of God unto salvation.  A lost person may be well skilled in teaching others how to be saved without having experienced it for himself.  I have known men who were pastors of churches who got saved.  These men had led people to the Lord and told them how to be saved.  They did this in spite of the fact that they were lost.

          Jesus has just told Nicodemus that he is lost.  Nicodemus does not see the kingdom because he has not been born from above.  He has not been born of the water even the Spirit.  He is not in the Kingdom of God.  He is outside of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus in this next verse explains to Nicodemus why he is lost!  The title of this sermon  is “the Importance of Believing Jesus”.   He is lost because he does not believe.

John 3:11  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

          Jesus again uses the phrase “Verily, verily”.  This means that what He is about to say is absolutely true and certain.  There are three things here that Jesus sites as certain and true.  The first is “We speak that we do know”.  Jesus is including Himself in this phrase.  Jesus speaks about things that He knows.  The things He says are true.  Jesus knows all things.  When Jesus speaks on a subject He knows that subject well.  Men do not normally speak about subjects of which they have no knowledge.  We speak about what we know.  Jesus knows more about salvation than anyone.  He knows exactly how it  works and what takes place when a person is saved.  He has told this information in a shortened form to Nicodemus.  Also included in this “we” is John the Baptist.  He knows how to be saved.  He has been preaching and telling people how to be saved for months maybe even years.  God spoke directly to John the Baptist and gave him as sign.  The disciples of Jesus are also included in this “we”.  They have been faithful to tell their friends and family about Jesus and about how to be saved.  They had experienced it for themselves and they know what they are talking about. 

          The second truth or certainty was “we testify that we have seen”.  Jesus had seen man’s heart and knew what was in man.  Jesus could see the heart of man because He is God.  Jesus had seen God the Father and came to proclaim Him to men.  Jesus had seen the lives changed when people repented and trusted in God for salvation.  John the Baptist had seen the working of God in the lives of those to whom he preached.  The disciples of Jesus had seen great miracles and had told others what they had seen.  Philip told Nathanael “come and see”.   All these and simply reported the facts about what they had seen with their own eyes.

          The third truth or certainty was “ye received not our witness”.   Why did they not receive the witness of Jesus?  Because they believed Jesus was lying.  These had refused to believe the words of Jesus and his disciples.  Nicodemus and his fellow counsel members and the rulers of the Jews did not accept Jesus as God.  These men would not believe.  They needed to see physical proofs and they would be shown physical proof but even this evidence would have to be believed.  They will destroy the temple and He will raise it again in three days.

          This was true then and is true even now.  There are many who will not believe the witness of a child of God.  They will not believe Jesus.  We tell them of our experience with Christ and they call us fools.  Even today men refuse to believe Jesus.  His words are true.  They need to be believed.


John 3:12  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things?

          Jesus refers here to the way he told Nicodemus the truth of the Kingdom of God.  He had used birth, water, and wind to illustrate spiritual things.  Nicodemus still did not understand.  If he does not believe after hearing the simple illustration how could he possibly believe if Jesus spoke to him in spiritual language?  The things of God are spiritually discerned.  Only those born of the spirit can understand them.


John 3:13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.

                   Jesus will now reveal who He is.  He is the son of man.  He had told the crowd in the temple that this was His father’s house.  He in effect made himself equal with God.  John the Baptist had been telling every one that Jesus was before him.  That is to say that Jesus existed before he did even though John was born six months before Jesus.  He is the son of man in that He has come down from heaven in the form of a man. 

          Jesus says her that no man hath ascended up to heaven.  What about Enoch?  What about Elijah?  Did they not ascend up to heaven?  Did these really ascend up into heaven?  A close look and you will see that they were taken up into heaven.  They did not get there on their own power.  Flesh and blood can not inherit the kingdom of God.  Paul said to be absent from the body is to be present with God (2 Cor. 5:6-8).  Jesus walked in the garden with Adam.  Jesus conversed with Abraham.  Jesus wrestled with Jacob.  Jesus stood before Joshua.  Jesus has ascended up to heaven.  Jesus came down from Heaven to walk among men and to give his life for mankind.  He will explain this to Nicodemus in the up coming verses.  He has come down from heaven which no man has ever done.  Jesus makes it clear to Nicodemus that He is God.  Will Nicodemus call him mad.  Will Nicodemus go away as so many have refusing to believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God and by refusing he will go away a dead man for he will not have the life which can be had only by trusting in His name.

          Jesus tells us something amazing at the end of this verse.  He says “the Son of man which is in heaven”.  Jesus is the son of man.  Jesus was on the earth when He said these words.  Jesus was also in heaven.  Jesus is everywhere.  Jesus is omnipresent.  He can be everywhere because He is God.  He can meet with us here today and at this same time be with thousands of other churches as well.  He is always with you.  He is always waiting right beside you to hear your prayer.  He is waiting right now for you who are lost to turn away from your sin and turn to Him.  He is waiting for you to say you are sorry and to ask for forgiveness.  He follows you all day long waiting to hear you confess your sins and trust in Him to save you.  Will you turn to him now?