March 5, 2023
Pastor Chanel Alexander
Gospel: John 3: 1-17
3 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 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 unless God is with that person.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4 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?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8 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.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11 “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen, yet you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Jesus explained about rebirth by water and of the spirit. Now Nicodemus knew much about ritual cleansing with water for it was Jewish custom to wash hands at meals, before worship, before priestly blessings, he knew water was used for consecration and purification from uncleanness.
But Jesus added the condition of being born of the Spirit and leading not only a life of natural or religious pursuit but a spiritual life as well. A life beyond work’s righteousness but one led by the Spirit, that like the wind, blowing whenever and wherever he wants. And that being born again was not left solely to the actions of humankind, but part of the mind and mission of God. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
So I am not sure if Nicodemus walked away with all the answers he was seeking for that night. He probably received more insight in this one night than probably years of study and practice. ,However I do believe that what he encountered was a vision of light.