This semester at Café we're reading through the book of John, and this week we looked at Chapter 3 - an example of someone seeking truth and answers to some of life's toughest questions.
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?Jesus says a lot of things here that seem pretty confusing, but were probably especially confusing to people who didn't fully understand who he was or the gravity of his existence. Nicodemus, a Pharisee, clearly wanted to meet up with Jesus to ask him some follow-up questions, but was probably very secretive about it because his peers weren't the biggest fans of Jesus.
11 “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
So here he is, in the middle of the night, asking Jesus questions and being berated for not understanding Jesus' cryptic responses. Jesus is trying to explain his purpose and significance to Nicodemus, but their communication is a bit jumbled until Jesus challenges him to think bigger than just earthly-things because Jesus is not of this earth.
Sometimes it's really hard to understand what Jesus is trying to tell us, but often it's because we're looking at it through our own perspective. We each bring a different lens when it comes to understanding faith because of our own background/history/lifetime, but Jesus challenges us to think bigger... to come up to an entirely different playing field and look at the words of Jesus through a lens of heavenly things.