John 3:7-15 NRSVue
7Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8The 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.” 9Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10Jesus 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. 12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man., 14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.,
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Some thoughts on this scripture
We do not perceive the wind with our eyes, but we see its effects in blowing grass and filling sails. We do not see the Spirit with our eyes, but the effects of the Spirit should be seen in our lives. Are they visible in mine?
When we look on the cross, it’s a look of faith. The man on it is a king and the cross is a throne. It is no longer a thing of shame. When we look on it, we look on love; truly, a love which suffered. The saving power of the cross is not in the suffering that led Jesus there but is his love. Look on the cross in prayer and give thanks for love, give thanks to God, give thanks for risen life.
The one we pray to and pray with is the Son of God, the One who has come from heaven and returned to heaven. Prayer is our time of bringing us into the space and ecology of everlasting love. This new strength happens in us not through our own efforts but through the love and power of God.
Is Nicodemus' making difficulties or does he want to understand and follow Jesus? If Jesus asks for a major change in my life - a new birth - in my way of seeing things, am I ready to respond?
Jesus opens the Scripture to this 'teacher of Israel' referring to his death which will scandalise Nicodemus's fellow-Pharisees. What is he trying to make me aware of through this Scripture today?