Lately, I’ve been doing some reading & spending some time in John 3, where Jesus is talking with Nicodemus. Their conversation has really sparked my curiosity on a few levels. To begin, this conversation was where Jesus made the famous statement, “You must be born again” Growing up in a pastor’s home, I heard this phrase “born again” multiple times & it’s been heavily used throughout Christianity with very weighty and significant importance. Consequently, I’ve always been a little more sensitive to this interchange between Jesus & Nicodemus.
With that in mind, please consider some important things about Nicodemus:
- he was a man in a male dominated culture – his natural environment, POV, thinking, paradigm & frame of reference was all things male
- he was a Jewish leader: not Roman, not Greek, not Persian, but Jewish with the rich heritage, culture and background of the OT, Moses, the Law, Torah, prophets, Psalms, etc; he was a religious expert in his culture
- he was a Pharisee, which means that he held the same points of interpretation of the Law as the Pharisees as distinct from the Sadducees
- he came to Jesus by night, possibly for a more private & offline conversation as opposed to a daytime, public discussion
Nicodemus’ first words with Jesus affirmed that they knew that Jesus was from God because of the validation of miracles to His ministry. Everything that Nicodemus does & says up to this point seems pretty normal stuff for who he is, a Jewish male Pharisee. He is talking about theology & miracles with Jesus which seems to be what Jesus is about.
But Jesus goes rogue
Jesus’ reply to Nicodemus has seemingly nothing to do with theology or miracles, but rather everything to do with birthing babies – you must be born again. It’s obvious by Nicodemus’ reply that he’s confused because he asks Jesus about the physical mechanics of a 2nd birth when a person is fully grown. It seems to me that obstetrics is a completely different topic than theology & miracles, or maybe not?????
I’m very much musing on this conversation between Nicodemus & Jesus and I expect that my musings will continue for quite awhile. In the meantime, here’s something you might be able to use in your daily living from my musings so far:
Sometimes I start conversations with God that wind up on a completely different & altogether better, deeper & richer experience. Let’s be careful not to limit our conversations with God to the topics of our choosing 🙂
Have a happy weekend!! 🙂