Early in Jesus' ministry, Nicodemus came to Him by night to talk
with Him (Jn. 3:1-21). After Jesus told Nicodemus that a person
had to be born again to see the kingdom of God, Nicodemus asked:
"How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time
into his mother's womb and be born" (Jn. 3:4)? Jesus explained that
"unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the
kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that
which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (Jn. 3:5-6). Shortly thereafter
Nicodemus asked: "How can these things be" (Jn. 3:9)?
I would like to make two points regarding asking questions. The
first relates to God's word and the second to the doctrines of men.
First, why did Nicodemus ask a similar question twice? Jesus said:
" If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how
will you believe if I tell you heavenly things" (Jn. 3:12)? Nicodemus
questioned Jesus again because he did not believe the answer Jesus
gave him the first time.
I suspect that we have all done this at one time or another. We
have a question, seek the answer in the word of God, find the answer,
and reject the answer. Often this is because the answer found in
God's word does not meet our expectations, preconceived ideas, or
contradicts the teachings of people we respect.
We must carefully set our minds to follow the word of God. No one
person is perfect and knows everything - else why would he look
to God, His word, or study the Bible? When we find that we are not
living according to God's will we must turn from error and make
correction in our lives.
Of course, this is the case with those who are new Christians.
These individuals have been living in a world of sin and must often
make radical life style changes. After being a Christian for a while,
we may find ourselves complacent know-it-alls who reject change
and conformity to God's word.
Second, let us be mindful that we should question everything said
by men. The Bereans were more fair-minded than the Thessalonians
because they searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether the
things Paul taught were true. The Bereans did not take Paul's word
at face value. They received the word with readiness. But, they
did not believe what he said without testing his words with the
Scriptures. Therefore, many of them believed (Acts 17:10-12).
Now let's think about ourselves. Do I welcome constructive criticism
by which I may evaluate my life and service to God? Am I fair-minded,
receiving the word with all readiness of mind, studying the Scriptures
that I may completely pattern my life after the word of God? What
is my attitude toward change: If I found that I was doing something
contrary to God's word, would I change - or would I seek to justify
No one is perfect. Therefore, everyone needs to make changes in
their life. Are you seeking knowledge of your short comings so that
you may conform to the word of God?