Today’s Gospel Reading: John 3:1-8 – 2nd WEEK OF EASTER: Monday, 29 April 2019
Jewish religious leader, Nicodemus sought Jesus out at night, possibly to avoid discovery by his peers. He believed that there was something of God’s work in what Jesus said and did, something worth pursuing. Yet, even though he took a risk to meet Jesus, and even though he detected God’s work through this rabbi, Jesus insisted that this noble-minded religious leader be “born anew” (John 3:3) in order to see the Kingdom of God.
“How can a man be born when he is old?” (John 3:4). The statement baffled Nicodemus’ logic. It may even have moved him to reconsider Jesus’ credentials. but Jesus explained that until Nicodemus was “born anew” by the Spirit of God, he would remain bound by the shadowy limitations of human reasoning. Just as he came to Jesus under the cover of physical darkness, he would remain in spiritual darkness without the transforming effect of this new birth.
Nicodemus’ encounter with Jesus shows that without the intervention of the Holy Spirit, we can miss out on the fullness of truth. We can be good people with good intentions, but our relationship with Jesus will be determined more by how well we obey the commandments and love others than it will simply by our intentions. But when we seek the transforming power of the Spirit, we become partakers of the very nature of God, empowered by the Spirit not only to obey God, but to become like God.
As Christians, we have chosen to accept the Apostles’ Creed, renounce sin, and receive Christ as our Savior and Lord. Yet every day, we need to acknowledge and live according to the spiritual “new birth” that is ours. We were “born anew” in the Spirit so that we could walk in the Spirit with increasing maturity (Galatians 5:16-25). Let us pursue the Holy Spirit every day in prayer as we experience a living relationship with Jesus, the lover of our souls.
Jakarta, 29 April 2019
A Christian Pilgrim