Archive for January, 2007

A Whole New Reality

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Today’s scripture: John 3:1-21 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

Have you ever been fortunate enough to know someone who guided you into a totally new, higher understanding of what life’s really all about? Maybe a teacher, pastor, or friend? Those people are rare, priceless gifts from God, aren’t they? Nicodemus’ encounter with Jesus was like that.

When Nicodemus stated his reason for believing Jesus was a teacher from God (namely, that Jesus had performed signs and miracles), Jesus doesn’t seem overly impressed. Instead of saying, “Yes, Nicodemus, you really get it,” he tells him that no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above. In other words, if Nicodemus is to truly see what Jesus is all about, he needs be born again and start learning via the spirit.

How do you explain the spiritual rebirth? It’s as mysterious as the wind, Jesus tells him. With no weather maps showing the cold/warm fronts and the jet stream, the wind must have been quite a mystery! And Nicodemus just doesn’t seem to get what Jesus is saying. As a leader of the Jews, he must have known all of the details of all of the laws, and how to comply with them, so he was extremely skilled in rational religious reasoning. But, as far as spiritual learning went, he was like a baby!

Did Nicodemus ever develop his spiritual perceptions? I don’t know, but it’s clear Jesus made a huge impression on him. After the crucifixion, he joined Joseph of Arimathea in preparing Jesus for burial, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloe, which must have been quite expensive. This makes me wonder, had Nicodemus converted to a follower of Jesus by then?

So, Jesus challenged Nicodemus to think in a radically new and different way. But, what about the “truth shifts” you and I need to undertake in order to continue following Jesus? They’re not easy, but thank God we have the support of Jesus Christ in strengthening us to become more like Him. God so loves that He is there to help us, even when the change is difficult.

Thought for the day: Lord, what new truth do you want me to see, and what changes will I need to make in order to embrace it?

Today, let’s join together in a prayer of thanksgiving: Ev’s son Erik, who we prayed for about a week ago, came through his surgery with flying colors.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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