John 3:9-12 (Keep It Simple)

Simple Edit

“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? (John 3:9-12)

Daily Bible Reading: Leviticus 20:1 – 22:33

Relate: A professor in college told us about a time when a missionary came to speak for a chapel service. He was a rodeo missionary and didn’t have the nice suit and polish that most people who would come to speak are expected to have. After being introduced he got up behind the podium and said, “If I have a barrel full of water and I shake it up, water spills out.” He paused for a second and looked out at the audience of Bible College students and asked, “We are supposed to be full of the Spirit, but what comes spilling out when our life gets shaken up?”

That was as far as he got in whatever message he had prepared. Before he could go any further a student began weeping and came up to the altar. Then another. Then another. The front was flooded with students repenting before God. God took those two simple sentences and used them to change a generation on that campus.

React: All too often I like my fine erudition. I like digging up some deep theological thoughts. I like diving into the “heavenly things”. I think Nicodemus probably did too. He was a pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. He was a contemporary to some great minds in Jewish history and as the quip goes, “Ask two Jews, get three opinions.” He probably was hoping and expecting to get the same when he came to Jesus. Instead Jesus starts talking about wind and… birthing. This is too earthy. It is too commonplace. This discussion, like that of shaking barrels, is so simple that there is nothing you can do except act on it. That isn’t safe. It is much easier to philosophize. It is much easier to toss around esoteric concepts. To make the great and wondrous things of God as simple as the wind in the trees?  I just don’t get it.

Respond: 

God, sometimes I want to make things too complicated. It is easier that way. It is safer. But in my digging for the profound sometimes I miss the simple truths. Sometimes I miss the basic realities. Help me to understand. Help me to love You and to trust with a simple childlike faith. 

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6 thoughts on “John 3:9-12 (Keep It Simple)

  1. Making things complicated is the way of the world. A tactic that we so often fall pray too. It many times is self induced while other times it is done on the part of someone wanting to keep thing misunderstood, hiding the facts and true understandings under the confusion. Many time we just throw our hands in the air and walk away from a discussion, or choose to stop looking into a topic just due to the confusion it adds to our thought process, disrupting our lives, making us uncomfortable in our beliefs. To gain control over this issue of confusion is such a great accomplishment once we learn how to work through what ever it is that we are doing. I believe we all struggle with this from time to time. Having our eyes wide open, a clear mind and a desire to understand and know the truth is key to the life God wants us to have.

  2. Just catching up on your posts, having been away for last 3 weeks.
    Out of all, this one hit home hardest. When I’m trying to run away from something, it’s amazing how I will try and turn the message/challenge/rebuke into a philosophising game, coming up with ways to muddy the waters. And yet Jesus frequently cut to the chase with something simple, so simple that our minds refuse to accept the simplicity of it.

    I’m challenged today to accept the simple message of God in my life and walk in it.
    As always, BJ, beautifully written. Love your blog, your writing style and your clear love of Jesus.

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