John 3.1-10 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?
I feel like I should know this but can you give me a hint?
There I stood transfixed, searching for the right words, but drawing a complete blank. I consider myself a fairly intelligent individual, and when it comes to math, while I’m no Steven Hawking, I do know my way around a scientific calculator. Yet, there I was with my daughter as she is asking me for some help with her Algebra and I was completely stumped. I’m supposed to know this stuff yet I was forced to try to encourage her while I acted as if I somehow knew the answer. She realized quickly that I didn’t know, She saw I was stalling for time and she called me on it.
Nicodemus stood in front of Jesus, a teacher of the people, a spiritual teacher of the people slipping into the conversation by buttering Jesus up with some high compliments. Jesus wasn’t at all interested in playing this game and turned the questions back on Nicodemus. Nicodemus was completely stumped, he had nothing. The things Jesus was asking him stopped him in his tracks and he finally broke down, looked at Jesus and asked, “How can these things be?” It was at this moment when Nicodemus finally dropped his pride and pretense and asked Jesus for an explanation.
Jesus stings Nicodemus and asks how this teacher of the people could not comprehend the fundamental truth of salvation. Jesus did not do this to be cruel to Nicodemus but more to draw him into the moment, because what was about to come next would change not only Nicodemus life direction but every person that hears those words. When Nicodemus dropped his pride and asked Jesus “how”, he opened his mind and heart to the truth of Jesus, what a moment, what an encounter.
Today on the road: It is easy for us to assume that we understand our spiritual walk, and it can feel so embarrassing to admit that we don’t have the answers, but we are about to find out that Jesus is prepared to lead us beyond the hope of knowledge to the reality of a relationship. Are you willing to drop the pretense and listen to the hope Jesus offers?