A new week–ushering in December
It is hard to believe how quickly this year has gone. Thanksgiving saw 26 people here for lunch, and it was all good. Now we get back into our routine of reading through the book of John.
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.[a]”
4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11I 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. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[d] 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[e]
There are several things that are notable in this passage: (1) Nicodemus approached Jesus at night. Why? Because He was a respected leader and id not want anyone to know he was meeting with and seeking the counsel of Jesus. (2) Nicodemus acknowledged the identity of Jesus (3) Jesus explained how we are to received salvation, and (4) Jesus foreshadowed His death by crucifixion.
I have never understood how those who met Jesus face to face could reject Him. It is easier for me to understand how we in the 21st century can reject Jesus–not much easier, but certainly it makes at least a little sense that some people cannot make the leap of faith to believe in one they have not seen. I am thankful to have been blessed with faith that enables me to believe beyond sight, to hear beyond sound. I know in my head and in my heart that Jesus is the Son of the Living God, that He left a throne in Heaven to come to earth to purchase my salvation, and that the plan for reconciliation was drawn before the foundation of the world.
If you would like to invite Jesus into your heart, you may contact me by making a comment on this page or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will try to answer any questions and I will pray with you and for you.
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