Is Jesus Relatable?
If you had a choice of famous people whom you could sit next to on a long plane flight, who would that be? For me, Jackie Chan. For one, I love Chinese folks and two, I think he’s pretty amazing. If you’ve ever researched his dangerous stunts, he’s almost died about 9 times in crazy movie scenes. But I think he’s pretty relatable, don’t you? Don’t you think that he would engage you in conversation in spite of his famous-ness and your relative obscurity? And why might he be so relatable? His personality, maybe he remembers that he came from humble beginnings.
Jesus is the Center of all things spiritual and physical. He holds the universe together by the word of His power.
Can you relate to Him? That’s the question.
John’s Gospel tells us that not only can you but you must.
Why is Jesus so relatable?
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
He was a very high ranking priest, who was on the Supreme Court of Israel. He had a lot to lose if he was wrong about Jesus. Fear and yet a compulsion to get his questions answered. But he wanted to see Jesus. He didn’t fear Him the way he could have. Because there’s something about Jesus. He’s a people magnet.
So how does this chapter in John tell us how He relates to people?
Jesus shows us that He welcomes people where they’re at.
He received an honest but a not-where-he-could-be guy in Nicodemus. An honest person who is wrestling with what he is seeing but not understanding.
There are a lot of folks who have come to Jesus just like this. From the respectable to the quirky. From gangsters and gang members to alternative life-stylers. And it began with an honest “itch” that can only be answered by Him.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus receives you where you are, but is not content to leave you where you are.
He startles you by shaking you up with truth in order to bring you the next step. How many of you have been shocked into seeking answers in life? Some event, some question or new reality?
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
He stays with you while you wrestle with the truth.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
He leads you to Himself as the One Answer to our default condition.
He knows more than you.
He knows more than Nicodemus. He’s been where you haven’t been. He was the object of OT prophecy.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
He makes the path clear. Believe and repent.
John the Baptist says the same thing in John 3.36:
36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”.
Where are you in the process of relating to Him? Can’t say that I’ve already arrived at relationship. Because in many ways, this same process plays out in every Christian life all along the way.
He meets you where you are.
He shakes you up in order to take you higher.
He stays with you while you wrestle with new to you truth.
He brings you to Himself as the Answer.
He makes the path clear.
And we need to believe and repent