Helpful Tidbits for the Disciple's Life                                                                                    May 3, 2010

Nicodemus Humbles Himself
My Reflections
The Banqueting Table
Forward to a Friend
The Banqueting Table does not necessarily endorse all contents of videos or the organizations that produced them. Please test everything you see and hear against the Scriptures.
Visit for more regional information

With three seminary degrees and twenty years of ministry experience under my belt, let me assure you so-called "clergy" don't know it all (myself included). In fact, many seminary-trained leaders don't know their Bibles. The danger that results, however, isn't the ignorance, but the false security many "pastors" seem to have in errant theologies. At least part of the organic church movement is the result of this recognition; people aren't being taught the truth.

QUESTION/TOPIC IN FOCUS: House church isn't a forum to pool ignorance
Nicodemus Humbles Himself
Excerpted from John's Gospel
Nicodemus"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven - the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life" (3:10-15).
My Reflections 
Bible-1There's no way around it, I am Nicodemus. Thankfully, I'm Nicodemus post late-night and secretive meeting with Yeshua (Jesus). What does that mean? In short, it means I was trained in mainline Christianity, was humble enough to allow my notions of what it means to be a follower of Yeshua questioned and corrected, and now I'm on my way to understanding.
Now, if I were you, I'd be asking, "So, how do you know you're on the right path?" Good question! Here's the abbreviated answer, in five parts.
  • My understanding of the Bible isn't dependent on a paycheck or reputation (when it is, biases are inevitable)
  • I've read the entire Bible, cover to cover, several times (drawing conclusions without knowing the whole story is irresponsible)
  • I'm working hard to understand the Bible's original audience; I want to "hear" what they heard (e.g., when Yeshua told Peter he needed to only wash his hands and feet to be clean, Peter's thoughts would have immediately turned to the Levitical priests who, after their initial cleansing, needed only, you guessed it, to wash their hands and feet)
  • I'm slowing shedding my Greek and, thus, evolutionary, thinking patterns (the Bible was written, primarily, to the Hebrews - who thought cyclically)
  • I'm letting the Bible provide it's own commentary (instead of Wayne Grudem, Warren Wiersbe, F.F. Bruce, and so on)
If you're presently gathering with other believers in some organic form, I applaud you. Now, be careful not to pool your ignorance. Although many hold up Acts 2, 4 and 1 Corinthians 14 as the ideal, it's important that we not confuse "being lead by the Spirit" with doing what feels right (Jdg 17:6; 21:25; Pr 3:7; Isa 5:21). No, we should be following the Bible to a tee (Jos 1:8; Ps 119:97; Jer 31:33).
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty (bio)
The Banqueting Table