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Rav Nakdimon ben Gurion meets Yeshua

Talmud Bavli gives us a little background on this famous Rabbi of the Sanhedrin.

(E.g. Avodoh Zeroh א/כה, Gittin א/נו, Ksuvos ב/סו, Taanis ב/יט). And here is the account of his first meeting with Yeshua:

"There was a Jewish leader named Nakdimon, who belonged to the party of the Perushim. One night he went to Yeshua and said to him,

"Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher sent by HaKadosh Baruch Hu. No one could perform the miracles you are doing unless HaKadosh Baruch Hu were with him."

Yeshua answered, "I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of HaKadosh Baruch Hu without being born again."

"How can a grown man be born again?" Nakdimon asked. "He certainly cannot enter his mother's womb and be born a second time!"

"I am telling you the truth," replied Yeshua, "that no one can enter the Kingdom of HaKadosh Baruch Hu without being born of water and the Ruach. A person is born physically of human parents, but is born spiritually of the Ruach. Do not be surprised because I tell you that you must all be born again.

The wind blows wherever it wishes; you hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the Ruach."

"How can this be?" asked Nakdimon.

Yeshua answered, "You are a great rabbi in Yisroel, and you don't know this? I am telling you the truth: we speak of what we know and report what we have seen, yet none of you is willing to accept our message. You do not believe me when I tell you about the things of this world; how will you ever believe me, then, when I tell you about the things of heaven? And no one has ever gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from heaven.

As Moshe lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert, in the same way the Bar Enosh (Son of Man) must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For HaKadosh Baruch Hu loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.

For HaKadosh Baruch Hu did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior. Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in HaKadosh Baruch Hu's only Son.

This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up. But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to HaKadosh Baruch Hu."

Yochanon perek ג, psukim כא-א.

Isn't it interesting that Nakdimon is known in the Talmud for a miraculous answer to a prayer for rain or water? This same subject takes on its full spiritual meaning in the discussion we see here as Yeshua explains we need to be born not just of water, but of the Ruach HaKodesh.

Yeshua takes the example of these events in Bemidbar perek כא, and gives a chiddush (new teaching) on how HaKadosh Baruch Hu brings healing to Yisroel from the judgment for sin. Moshe rabbeinu is commanded to make a bronze snake and lift it high for everyone to see, and then those bitten by the snakes were to look at it for healing. Why was this? We know HaKadosh Baruch Hu completely forbids avodoh zaroh. Those who were dying had to stop putting their trust in themselves and their own remedies for healing, and trust only in HaKadosh Baruch Hu. This required real faith. Secondly the small action of looking, in obedience to HaKadosh Baruch Hu's command was noticed by Ribbono Shel Olam. Looking at this snake also caused people to realize the consequence of their sin - death. This is a pattern of something to come that affects our neshumeh.

So the first step to our healing is to recognize that averoh or sin (חטאת, פשע, and עון) causes us death in all ways, spiritual first, and then physical, emotional, psychological, moral and every other way. We need to ask HaKadosh Baruch Hu for forgiveness and rely on His chesed (loving kindness and faithfulness).

The second step to healing requires us to turn from trusting ourselves, our friends, our own superstitions, traditions and remedies. (Let's be honest. Have they worked for us up to now?) We have to recognize HaKadosh Baruch Hu alone can help us.

The third step is to turn to Him on His terms. We can't negotiate our own conditions with HaKadosh Baruch Hu. He loves us, but we have to be obedient and come to Him on His terms.

If we are willing to do this, He promises He will come into our heart and clean it with "fresh water". We will have a spiritual new birth that will affect the rest of our life here on earth and in the oilom haboh.

Three Barriers to Healing>>