Nicodemus comes to him because he saw the signs, because he believes, because he wants something more, something only Jesus can give.
Seeking a grace beyond pessimism
Lent 2A | John 3:1-17
by Drew Downs
I love this story about Nicodemus. And one of the reasons is that it has a bit of humor in the middle. Almost like a buddy comedy. One guy is talking about big picture stuff. And the other guy is like “Wait, how can anyone be born twice?” I can almost picture Nicodemus using his hands to figure out how to crawl back in.
It is funny because the place Nicodemus goes in his mind is absurd.
Now don’t you dare tell me you haven’t done this. You hear something you don’t quite understand and your mind goes literal. And you go “That doesn’t make sense?” This happens with my kids all the time. They mishear something and they’re just trying to get it.
So the question for us should not be about defending Nicodemus or insulting him or any of that. We’re all Nicodemus sometimes. The question is why he would take Jesus so literally here. And I think it is less a misunderstanding and more an expression of his theology.
Jesus is talking about being re-born and Nicodemus is like, Nah, I’m thinking its more of a “one life” deal.
And yet, he came to Jesus anyway. At night, so he’s not super-psyched to have other people see him talking to Jesus. But he comes to Jesus nonetheless. And he shows up with a different theology. But he comes because he’s entertaining a thought that I’m sure disturbs him.
Maybe I’m wrong.
But before we dive in, let’s see why Nicodemus is coming to him at all.
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