“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.
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.