Be Still Know
John 3:9 NLT
‘How are these things possible?’ Nicodemus asked.
I am not convinced that if we leave the world to the scientists we shall understand all the mysteries of life. Although my mum has faith, my perspective is that she places too great a faith in the power of science.
Nicodemus, having listened to the whirlwind presentation from Jesus, acknowledges he has no idea what Jesus means. Working at the level of his rational understanding, he simply cannot conceive of this fresh birth Jesus speaks of. An intellectual Pharisee versed in understanding the complexities of the Jewish scriptures, he doesn’t enjoy being so confused and unable to make a sensible response. However, he doesn’t react in anger or walk away. In his frustration he chooses to wrestle with the problem.
There is much mystery involved in pursuing God. Many things lie beyond our mental capacity to understand. We take these things by faith. Yet faith is so much more than agreeing to hold something in tension with my own understanding. Faith invites me, requires me, to put my full confidence in what I struggle to understand. Nicodemus did this and by the close of Jesus’ ministry is emboldened enough to request Jesus’ crucified corpse. This, despite the raised suspicion from both his fellow Sanhedrin members and the Roman authorities that this enquiry would surely provoke. Nicodemus took the risk of trusting the One who had posed a question that had so thoroughly unsettled him.
Nicodemus, like all of us, may have experienced a ‘light bulb’ moment in identifying Jesus as the true rabbi. However, we see through the Gospel of St John that he had an uncomfortable journey to make from enquirer to follower. Requesting the body of Jesus and leading the burial party demonstrates a clear act of faith, one that will not have passed unnoticed by friend and foe alike.
QUESTION: Do you want to live obeying the questioner ahead of receiving an answer to your question?
PRAYER: Almighty God, with you all things are possible.