John 3: 1-21 (ESV)
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
I am always impressed with Nicodemus. He was a learned man, a Pharisee, but was not content to stop learning. He had a desire to learn more. We hear about that goal of being a life-long learner; we may even aspire to it. He asked questions and sought out answers. It seems that he was not taking anything for granted. In the midst of his discussion with Jesus he is called to task about his lack of understanding. He should understand what Jesus is talking about but he doesn’t. I often feel too secure in what I know or what I think I know. I can place myself in the knowers’ column, but every encounter with Christ reveals how little I know. Every encounter with this disruptive one reveals that there are still places in my heart that I am a lover of darkness.
As someone who has been given faith in God through Jesus Christ, I understand that I am not in darkness but in Light. That I have Christ over me with His righteousness; that I am not condemned but saved. And yet, in my flesh, I still love darkness. I have places that I don’t even know about yet that are dark and I want to keep hidden. Sometime I am well acquainted with them. They are my favourite darkened areas, the ones I really don’t want to let go off. But the Spirit blows and reveals and I am undone. I have often felt like, I have learned enough; I don’t need to know any more of my brokenness, the dark in my life. I can’t handle it. But Jesus loved us enough to shine light on every area so the Truth can overtake it. My darkness and lack of knowledge or trust about how it can be overcome by Jesus does not limit Jesus’ power and Truth. Jesus allows himself to be lifted up so that I can be saved.
Father, you reveal us at the core. You take us to a full understanding of our lives and desires. You, through Jesus, overcome them. You shine light and truth into our darkness and lies. Teach us to rest in your light. Teach us to long for your words of comfort. That there is life and comfort where Jesus is. We praise you. Amen
Take time to look at the areas where you are puffed up in knowledge and ask God to reveal where you are lacking. Take time to ask God to reveal more brokenness and how He is overcoming it. Write it down so you can grieve and celebrate that God in Christ has overcome.