…by Rebekah Jackson
Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus reminds me of the uniqueness of Jesus and His kingdom. The Jews were expecting something so different than what came for them. They expected this mighty king who would rule with the perfect law of God. But God sent them Jesus, who brought them a message of a kingdom of righteousness born out of God’s perfect love that was beyond the law. It was so unlike what they expected that it was difficult (sometimes impossible) for them to see. Nicodemus struggled to understand spiritual things (like the Holy Spirit) because he was so used to tangible faith – following the law, saying the right prayers, going to the temple at all the right times. The “religion” that Jesus was calling Nicodemus to, that He calls us to, was more a way of living. He calls us to be filled with the Spirit and to live and breathe the love of God. Not just through our prayers and observances, but in absolutely everything we do. Nicodemus and the other religious leaders had learned the ways of the Law. Now they were called to learn the ways of Jesus, the promised Messiah.
I’m like that. I tend to remember the rules that I have learned, the things that enable me to say, “Look, see the good things I did?” This passage reminds me that I am called to something even more than following laws and observances. None of that is bad, there is just more. Not more to do, but more to be. People I meet eventually find out that I go to church. They learn that I lead worship, teach occasionally and that I have a Bible study each week. That says something to them… about me. But beyond that, the way I treat others speaks even louder… about God; about who He is and how He loves. This is the Spirit-led life Jesus was calling Nicodemus, the Jews, and is calling me to.