Day 3, John 3
If you’ve ever wondered what Jesus really said or did, you are in good company. One of the leading Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day was confused by Jesus too. Nicodemus is described as a “prominent leader;” so he was intelligent, highly educated. Still, Nicodemus had questions about Jesus. So he went to Jesus and asked Him directly. Their conversation is recorded in John 3:1–21, and every time I read it, I am amazed at the flow of conversation and the depth of thought between these two men.
For today’s virtual study, I read their conversation from The Message. Here’s part of it:
There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. Late one night he visited Jesus and said, “Rabbi, we all know you’re a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren’t in on it.”
Jesus said, “You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.”
“How can anyone,” said Nicodemus, “be born who has already been born and grown up? You can’t re-enter your mother’s womb and be born again. What are you saying with this ‘born-from-above’ talk?”
Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom.
Jesus says everything He says and does is pointing to God’s kingdom—a kingdom we can be part of if we “submit to this original creation,” the Spirit hovering over the dark of our hearts and creating new life in us. Without that new life in us, we cannot see what Jesus is pointing to, nor can we enter God’s kingdom.
There is so much wonder and hope there! Jesus is inviting us all to see and enter God’s kingdom but submitting to the Spirit’s creating work in our hearts. Today, I’m asking God to give me opportunities to speak of Jesus’ invitation to new life, to invite people to come and see the kingdom of God.
What is God teaching you today? Share in the comments or via social media (tag me!).
If you missed Days 1–3, no worries! Start with us tomorrow for Day 4, Chapter 4. All are welcome!