Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
…16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:1-6, 16
Sunday past, the Christian community celebrated Holy Trinity Sunday. The trinity is the mystery about God. Therefore, on Trinity Sunday, the church tries to answer the mystery of Almighty God.
We all have questions about the deity. Who is God? Where is God? What is God doing? Does God care? Why doesn’t God do this or that?
The above text gives us a glimpse of the trinity. We see Jesus, the son of God, speaking of his father and of the unseen power of the Holy Spirit.
For those of us who are interested in searching for God, John’s gospel gives us an unusual perspective. We find an unexpected answer. We hear an unmistakable promise.
We discover an unlimited offer.
The text tells us that a prominent Jewish leader named Nicodemus, went to see Jesus by night. We do not have a reason why he went to see Jesus by night. Scripture does not tell us.
This Pharisee and a leader of the Jewish people took a chance to see Jesus and clear up some questions. “Rabbi,” he said, “we know that you are a teacher who has come from God.”
He made a profound statement, yet, he did not know, nor did he understand, who this rabbi or teacher was. Jesus’ response to Nicodemus focuses on people’s inability to understand spiritual things without being born of the Spirit.
He says to Nicodemus: “No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” This confuses Nicodemus and probably would confuse most Christians.
Nicodemus was confused because he was thinking of a literal second birth. Our rebirth comes in our baptism. Through our new birth in baptism, we enter the kingdom.
The text emphasizes that God loves us and demonstrated his love through the person and work of Jesus. When we are brought into the kingdom through the power of the Holy Spirit, we have a change of heart. We come to love God as our father.
The Holy Spirit gives us a spiritual birth. The father sent the son, who died for us. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all work for the common goal of saving us from our sins and granting us eternal life. When we are reborn by God through faith, we become God’s children.
The promise of eternal life is real and unmistakable. Those who search for God will realize that God cared enough to send the absolute best, his own son, to make our salvation possible. He won that for us through his unconditional love, which is found in the bruises and scars of his beloved son, Jesus Christ.
In this world of limited resources, limited time, and limited opportunities, God brings the message of limitless and unconditional love to all mankind. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.