Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night. As a Pharisee, Nicodemus may not want to have to explain to his brethren what he was doing hanging around this suspect rabbi. And yet, at the same time, his curiosity cannot be quelled. He is drawn to Jesus.
Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born from above. The King James Version uses the phrase, "born again" which became a very popular charismatic movement in the U.S. in the 70's and 80's. This re-birth imagery is used in baptism which Jesus refers to when he declares that people must be born of water and the spirit to enter the kingdom of God.
The reference to Moses and the serpent in verse 14 refers to a rather obscure story of the Exodus found in Numbers 21:4-9. The idea of looking on the lifted serpent in order to survive the poison transfers to Jesus being lifted up on the cross and then resurrected. All who look upon Jesus through profession of faith will find life.
|The pinnacle of the church may draw the eye|
to faith and remind one of being
born from above.
This reminds us of Adam and Eve who seek to hide from God in the garden after they disobeyed.
What things in our lives would we be hesitant to expose before the light of Christ? Are there behaviors or habits that would shrivel if exposed to the truth? While it might be easy to throw stones at Nicodemus for coming to Jesus at night, we might all have times when we do the same.
Prayer for the day:
Blessed are you, Lord God, creator of day and night:
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As darkness falls you renew your promise
to reveal among us the light of your presence.
By the light of Christ, your living Word,
dispel the darkness of our hearts
that we may walk as children of light
and sing your praise throughout the world.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever. Amen.
Prayer from The Church of England.
Photo by Andrew Schaeffer, director of music at First United Methodist Church of Edmond.