Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 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 apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 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?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 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.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? “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. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. “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.“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. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” (John 3:1-21, NRSV)
Every time I read this story I also wish I could have been there. I wonder was it Nicodemus and Jesus alone or were others in the room with them? Were there people who overheard the conversation? Were the overhearers as confused as it seems Nicodemus was/is?
You see, Nicodemus came to Jesus at night so people would not see him a Pharisee going to see Jesus. Also, he came under the cover of darkness at night because that is where he is, in the dark. He doesn’t understand how this man can do what He does. He does not understand what this man says.
But my wonder is, do any of us always understand Jesus? I have been called to many different things in my life and few of them I have understood. I have participated in them becuase I know God has called me to them and I live with God in and through those callings, but to say I understand them might be pushing it. Like when people ask me why I moved from Texas to Wisconsin in January, my reply is, “Because that is what God wanted me to do.” Now don’t get me wrong Wisconsin is a wonderful state to live in, but it is a lot colder than Texas is in January, well maybe not this January! But we follow God not always seeing the full picture. Nicodemus wanted to understand the full picture, so he came to talk to Jesus, to get some answers, and left with more questions than answers this time, but Nicodemus doesn’t give up.
Do you give up when Jesus gives you more quesitons than answers or do you push forward knowing that even in the quesitons God is still with you?