Prepare to Listen. In stillness be attentive to Jesus. Pray: You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Prayerfully Read John 3:1-10
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.’ 3Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ 4Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?’ 5Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.” 8The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ 9Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can these things be?’ 10Jesus answered him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
His journey began with confident knowing. Nicodemus knew Jesus was a teacher from God. It entered a stage of mockery and then ended in confusion and not knowing as he cried out, “How can these things be?”
The journey is one many of us have made ourselves. We too began with a confident knowledge of who Jesus was and what we believed about him. Some of us even bragged about being ‘born again,’ thinking we understood this a whole better than Nicodemus did. But then something happened that shook our confidence. Nicodemus was shaken by Jesus’ puzzling demand—you must be born from above. He took it literally thinking Jesus meant physically being born again and so he ridiculed Jesus. People can’t be born after having grown old, he mocked. But Jesus persisted, stating the same thing in slightly different words and Nicodemus was confused, no longer knowing what he once thought he knew so well.
I want to suggest that misunderstanding, ridicule and not knowing are important stages in the journey. We keep traveling into another stage, as we’ll see in tomorrow’s reading.
Think about your journey with Jesus, your times of misunderstanding and not knowing? What happened next?
Respond to Jesus
Lord Jesus Christ, you are our Teacher. You want us to go deeper and you’re willing to risk taking us into difficult terrain when needed. Today, I choose to keep on following you, through terrain that gets rough and puzzling. I trust you to lead me into a deeper relationship with you. In your name I pray, Amen.
Go live obediently in the world, letting the journey take you closer to Jesus.
Because I believe that Scripture is food for our soul (our entire being) I seek to read it and encourage others to read it in ways that nourish and transform our beings. I invite you to read the Bible with me during Lent and into Easter. I am a Bible teacher, spiritual companion and retreat director. I know the Bile and how to read it for spiritual formation.