“no one needed to tell him what makind is really like” – John 2:25
John 3 contains perhaps the most significant passage of the entire Bible, one so deep you could easily spend months just dwelling on these small verses alone. The love of God, the Son of God, why Jesus, the answer to life, it’s all contained in this passage.
It begins with a conversation, between a young, 30 year old man and a leader of the Jewish council, who was likely in his 60s or even 70s. Such conversations were rare, not because they took place which they often did, but because the younger seems to be instructing the older. Nicodemus was on the Jewish Sanhedrin, and notably absent in the vote required to convict Jesus to death (along with Joseph of Arimathea). You would suspect his absence was due to an ongoing relationship with the young Christ, which probably started here.
“What do you mean, how can an old man go back into his mother’s womb to be born again?” he asked Jesus.
Jesus’ response to this question, aligns very much with his thoughts at the end of the previous passage. So the story of the Gospel unfolds.
We can talk about it more in the coming weeks, but here we learn something of the Gospel message, and that is firstly that a) sadly, we are untrustworthy and cannot be relied upon to complete the task but then b) God is capable of completing the task and can be totally relied upon. It is the human story, and what makes the Gospel of Jesus Christ so compelling. God rescues me, he wants to rescue me, and he is the only one who can rescue me. I may be reluctant to face that, I certainly don’t deserve it and at times I probably don’t enjoy or even want it. But God, contrary to all our wants and expectations offers us this second chance in spite of ourselves. Salvation, rescue remains in nobody else but him.
The more immersed I become in that rescue, the more incredible it becomes to me; the vast assurance of God against my own paltry efforts. Humanity flails against what God can and will do, and in vain we watch governments and humans subject each other to vast experiments that invariably bring catastrophe.
But, when we as believers see the transformation of another person because of the purpose of God, through Jesus Christ, we are simply astounded and delighted.
“how are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
As the Kingdoms of men crumble over the centuries, behind all the dust and rubble still stands the towering figure of Jesus Christ. In him is revealed the love of God, with his vast assurance of the rescue of mankind, not as a group or conglomerate, but as an individual, “so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life”
Let’s find someone to tell this week, and see what God will do.