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Discourse with Nicodemus

Gospel Reading: Jn 3:1-8
There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at 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 are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus, a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews, comes to Jesus at night for fear of being seen by his fellow Jews. Yet “night” symbolizes the state of Nicodemus. He represents every person in the darkness of unbelief seeking enlightenment from the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. Jesus explains that to be able to see the Kingdom of God, one has to be born from above. Nicodemus interprets “being born from above” to mean “to be born again.” Jesus further explains that it means to be “born of water and Spirit.” For the early Christians, to be born of water and Spirit means to be baptized.

Nicodemus thinks on the human level (“born of flesh”); Jesus tries to bring him to the spiritual level (“from above”). He cannot understand what “being born from above” means because he sees things from a different perspective.

One who is born of the Spirit can understand the movement of the Spirit in one’s life.

Lord, let your Spirit guide me in ways that are level and smooth (cf Is 26:7).

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.