Sunday, 30 December 2012

Nick's Questioning Attitude

Nicodemus 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.  (John 3:2)

Nick is my good friend.  He is a good sort, not one to be pushed around but not one to make stupid mistakes either.  He is careful is Nick - Nicodemus the Pharisee, to give him his full name and title.

I wasn't surprised when he asked me to go with him to see Jesus.  That's just like Nick - to find out for himself.  But I wasn't surprised either when he told me that we would be going at night.  He would want to go, but he wouldn't want to be seen.  Jesus was getting a bit of a reputation as a rabble-rousing rabbi.  Anyone with any sense would be a bit careful about being associated with him.  It might lead to something a bit nasty.  But you couldn't ignore the fact that Jesus was saying some pretty interesting things - and getting himself quite a following. 

Nick and I were sensible Pharisees though.  Of course, we were going to be careful how we approached him.  So Nick made a night-time appointment.  Fortunately Jesus was happy to see people at any time of day or night.  He said that he had this important message about the kingdom of God and he was willing to go to extraordinary lengths to try and help people understand what he was getting at.

So late one evening Nick and I met up with him.  We wanted to make it clear that we wanted to hear what he had to say.  We weren't there to challenge him.  Nick said straightaway that we realised that he must come from God. 

Jesus' response to that was to say something entirely incomprehensible.  He said that everybody had to be born anew.  That was the only way to get into God's kingdom.  Would you have known what he meant.  We certainly didn't.  Nick asked if he meant that we had to somehow get back into our mother's womb.  It really did not make any sense. 

We had a very interesting conversation.  We talked about flesh and spirit, the blowing of the wind, Moses, condemnation, judgment, light, all sorts.  I am still not sure that I understand, except that he certainly told us that God loves us and that we ought to live the way God wants.  I am hoping that Nick will take me back to see him again so that we can ask a few more questions, get a few more answers, maybe ones that we will understand.

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