Nic at Nite

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 2 King 15-16; John 3:1-18

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a Jewish leader. 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 could do these miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born anew, it’s not possible to see God’s kingdom.”

Nicodemus asked, “How is it possible for an adult to be born? It’s impossible to enter the mother’s womb for a second time and be born, isn’t it?”

Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don’t be surprised that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ God’s Spirit blows wherever it wishes. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It’s the same with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said, “How are these things possible?” (John 3:1-9, Common English Bible).

I’ve always been told, “Nothing good ever happens at night.” I don’t believe that never have, never will. If we believe that God is truly omnipotent and omnipresent that would mean God is there at 9:00 at night, midnight, or 3:00 AM. And, if God is present, good things are always happening.

Take the lesson above from John 3. Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night. There is probably a dual meaning here. John often placed double meanings in a text. There was the literal earthly meaning, Nicodemus was visiting with Jesus after dark or before daybreak. It was nighttime. I have little doubt that is true. Equally true too, Nicodemus was coming to Jesus during the night of his life and was seeking the light.

It also seems to me that Nicodemus doesn’t have enough light shining on the situation. He really wants to understand what Jesus is talking about but Nicodemus is thinking far too literally. As a Pharisee, it was probably all but impossible for him to think any other way. When Jesus talks about being born again, Nicodemus’ mind goes to the idea of re-entering ones’ mother’s womb. And of course, he knows that to be impossible. But, before we go thinking about impossibilities, we also need to remember, we Christians have been heard to say, “Nothing is impossible with God.” From an earthly perspective wouldn’t we say it is impossible to feed 5000 plus people with one little boy’s lunch? Yet Jesus did just that. But, I digress.

Jesus speaks of something of greater importance here. Jesus is speaking of a spiritual rebirth. Jesus’ words “by water and the spirit” allude to baptism where we are born again by water and the spirit. It is not a literal physical rebirth. We are born again of the spirit.

We United Methodists believe God is the primary actor in baptism. It may be my hands as the pastor using the water, but it is God who actually does the baptism. It is God bringing new life through grace.

Before all is said and done, Nicodemus will understand and will believe but it is still dark outside for good ole Nic at Nite.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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