Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He 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.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus 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?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The 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.”
I have spoken about being Born Again at least a couple of times (see https://youtu.be/j-nkKBCcYaE) so let us talk about something else instead. Let’s talk about Nicodemus. I like Nicodemus. I like him because he’s a seeker of truth. Those who seek the truth are people who like to learn. And they know that if they are to learn anything, they need to be open, they need to listen, they need to understand, and then they need to put what they’ve learned into practice. Does this describe you? I hope it does.
Okay, so Nicodemus is a seeker of truth, so he goes to Jesus one night? Why does he go at night? Because Nicodemus is a Pharisee. He knows that if the other Pharisees find out he’s been to see Jesus he’ll be in a lot of trouble because they can’t stand him. This might make him a bit of a coward, but let’s not hold that against him. He goes to Jesus because he believes Jesus might have some answers because Jesus is from God.
How does he know that Jesus is from God? Because he knows that no one can do the signs that Jesus did unless he was from God. Here’s another trait of a seeker; they can usually put two and two together. His fellow Pharisees couldn’t put one and one together because they thought they knew it all. When you think you know it all, you usually don’t know anything at all! Which is something we should keep in mind.
So, Jesus says to Nicodemus: “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” I wish there were video cameras in those days, and somebody had recorded the look on Nicodemus’ face. It would have been comical. Why? Imagine you come to me and tell me you love these reflections and I say to you in response: “You can’t see the kingdom of God unless you are born again.” What?! What’s that gotta do with anything? Plenty as it turns out, but I don’t wanna talk about that today.
I wanna talk about how Jesus spoke. We have been reflecting about the funny way in which Jesus spoke over the last couple of days, and I want us to reflect upon it again, because it is really important. Why did Jesus talk like this? Because he wants us to think! And he wants us to think outside the box! The Kingdom of Heaven is not like the world. We cannot understand it if we try to understand the ways of heaven like we try to understand the ways of the world.
Now, think about all the things you know about the faith. How have you learned them? From people, right? How do you know that what they have taught you is the truth? I am sure they believe it is, but is it? They believe it is the truth because somebody else has taught them. I am not saying they are wrong, but to really discover the truth you have to seek it yourself! To seek it, in addition to being open and the rest of what we spoke about, you have to dig deep until you uncover it. How will you know when you’ve uncovered the truth? Oh, trust me, you will know.
Let me give you a puzzle to illustrate. Take six matchsticks and make four equilateral triangles with them, with the length of each side of the triangle equaling the length of a matchstick. You’ll understand the point of this reflection when you solve it. Please don’t post the solution should you get it; I want everybody to arrive at the solution on their own. I’ll provide the solution in my reflection tomorrow.
Don’t forget to share this reflection with all your friends now. Have fun!