Sunday Reflection – Lent II, March 5, 2023


Jesus and Nicodemus

John There was a man named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a Jewish leader. One night he went to Jesus and said, “Rabbi, we know that God has sent you to teach us. You could not work these miracles, unless God were with you.”

Jesus replied, “I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God’s kingdom!”

Nicodemus asked, “How can a grown man ever be born a second time?”

Jesus answered:

I tell you for certain that before you can get into God’s kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit. Humans give life to their children. Yet only God’s Spirit can change you into a child of God. Don’t be surprised when I say that you must be born from above. Only God’s Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going.

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 Jesus replied:

How can you be a teacher of Israel and not know these things? 11 I tell you for certain we know what we are talking about because we have seen it ourselves. But none of you will accept what we say. 12  If you don’t believe when I talk to you about things on earth, how can you possibly believe if I talk to you about things in heaven?

13  No one has gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from there. 14  And the Son of Man must be lifted up, just as the metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert. 15 Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life.

16 God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! 

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: Nicodemus (Lent II, March 5th)

Read John 3:1-17 with your family.

There are two big parts in this story, first Nicodemus trying to understand what it means to be ‘born from above’ (or born again), and the second is verse 16 where we hear God so loved the world that God gave the only son, that whoever has faith in him will have eternal life.

Both of these have been used by people to hurt others, and that shows they don’t understand God’s message at all.

First, to be ‘born from above’ or ‘born again’, means that when we believe in Jesus and follow what he taught us, it’s like we become a new person. Jesus calls us to be different, to love people and help people. “Born again” does not mean you stop being yourself or stop talking to your friends and family, just that the way you behave and the way you talk to others will change.

Second, God loving the world and expecting faith in Jesus does not mean we have to be Christian. The Christian church didn’t even exist when those words were written in the Gospel of John. What it does mean is having faith in God’s love, and Jesus shows us God’s love.

Many people just stay at verse 16 but don’t go on to verse 17, which says that God isn’t going to judge or punish the world. We forget that sometimes. When we fail to follow Jesus teachings, we are always given another chance to try. God wants the world to be good for everyone, and we are responsible as follows of Jesus, to make that happen.