March 10, 2020
Scripture John 3:1-15
“If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? ”
John 3:12 NRSV
Most people like a routine with everything pretty orderly and predictable. When something unexpected arises, it is easy to get perplexed in trying to figure out what is going on. Often, this leads to pondering over the subject, trying to get a handle on it. Many times, it only makes sense when time has gone by.
Something like this is happening in this scripture from the Gospel of John. Jesus has an encounter with Nicodemus at night, and the conversation moves rapidly away from things certain and predictable for the Pharisee. Nicodemus remains “in the dark” and asks repeatedly for clarification. Yet, with each response, Jesus elevates the subject matter from literal experiences, such as human birth, to the realm of spiritual matters. Jesus points to the power of God and God’s new activity in the world in Jesus, the Messiah. This is the significance of the “water and Spirit” which Christ proclaimed to Nicodemus. Despite having the Savior of the world standing right in front of him, Nicodemus remained pretty clueless about salvation in general and about his own personal salvation, as well. Even with repeated prompting, Nicodemus showed a minimal understanding about Jesus as the Messiah.
This scripture informs us today, because God wants us to get a clear picture of our life in Christ. Unlike Nicodemus, we can approach God through worship, prayer, and study. And, through the activity of God’s Spirit, we will continue to grow in our faith and commitment to the church which is called by Christ. All of this comes about through our faith in God through Christ, our Risen Lord.
And, as Jesus is telling us in this scripture lesson, that faith will make all the difference!