Today’s Gospel: John 3, 7B-15
In the gospel today, Jesus is trying to help a teacher of Israel, Nicodemus, understand a spiritual reality. But Jesus’ answers don’t help Nicodemus. In fact, the answers only perplex him more. I can relate to Nicodemus. Jesus’ responses in this gospel are quite mysterious. Then again, God is the ineffable mystery. It is hard to grasp spiritual realities and truths solely on an intellectual level. But I don’t think Jesus wants us to become scholars and theologians to better understand Him or the Truth.
I think that is the message of this gospel. He wants us to encounter Him, in a tangible and personal way. I think this is why He likened the Holy Spirit and the spiritual reality of conversion to the wind. The wind cannot be manipulated to blow. It blows where it wills and we encounter the wind through our senses. Our spiritual experiences – conversion or renewal in the Lord – are similar in nature to the wind. There is no magical formula to conversion or transformation. It isn’t a knowable thing, with steps and outcomes. It is simply an encounter with the truth of who Jesus is – savior, God in the flesh, brother, the one who paid for our sins on the cross. We encounter Him through our senses and we are transformed, reborn “from above”.
Nicodemus was a smart man, a teacher of Israel, yet he didn’t let pride or title stand in the way of seeking to better understand Jesus and the spiritual reality of conversion. The result of his persistence was encountering the Christ and being challenged by the Truth. May I always persist and ask Jesus my questions. I’d rather be confounded by the mystery then save face and remain in spiritual darkness.
Is there a spiritual reality, a teaching, or a Scripture passage that has always been hard for you to understand? Ask the Holy Spirit to help open up your understanding and ask Jesus your questions.
Jesus, we want to know You and better understand what it means to live as ones “born from above.” Help us to be more aware of those daily encounters with You so that we can bring You and Your love into every moment of our lives.
Copyright 2016 Jaimee Perez
Jaimee Perez is a single mother to her 8 year old daughter here on earth and her son John Paul in heaven. She is working toward licensure as a clinical psychologist and in the meantime, works as an early interventionist in her home state. Ministries she loves and serves in include Rachel’s Vineyard and Magnificat.