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JESUS SPEAKS ABOUT SPIRITUAL BIRTH

09 Apr

Today’s Gospel Reading: John 3:1-8 – SECOND WEEK OF EASTER: Monday, 9 April 2018

Throughout the Gospel readings this week, we will consider the meeting of Nicodemus with Jesus. He was the man who came by night and represented the best of Judaism. He was a Pharisee, a Sanhedrin member and a rabbi. Some scholars say that since chronology is not that critical to John’s Gospel, it may well be that this interview occurred during Holy Week after the first meeting of the Sanhedrin. That would make this dialogue all the more powerful and haunting.

Nevertheless, Nicodemus was attracted by Jesus’ signs and teaching. The Lord wants to lead him to a deeper understanding of the Kingdom. “Spirit” and “flesh” have specific meaning in a Johannine environment. The “flesh” sees only the surface of things. “Spirit” sees beneath appearances to the reality itself. This is one of the great themes of John’s Gospel: to see through appearances and signs to the reality of the divine Lord.

The Lord tells Nicodemus that such an insight is not an intellectual construct but the result of a complete change in the way a person lives. It is like being born all over again. Nicodemus responds that he is too old to change anymore. What is written is written. The Lord answers that this kind of birth is not a function of age. One can receive a new start in the spiritual life at any age.

To see things as Jesus saw them, to see where the Spirit is and where He is not, is itself a gift of that Spirit.

Jakarta, 9 April 2018

A Christian Pilgrim

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