But who’s Ye?
The encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus related to us by John’s third chapter, is quite possibly the most oft proof texted pericope in the New Testament. Think about it there’s
- “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”
- “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.”
- And of course, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”
- If you are a disciple of DT, then this one should be on your list too, “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” But I digress.
What happens between Jesus, the itinerant Rabbi and miracle worker from Nazareth and Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews has become ubiquitous precisely because it is so important. In his answers to Nicodemus’ honest questioning, Jesus lays out his full mission: To bring dead people back to life.
Yes, Jesus physically brought a few people back from the dead, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Those people still physically died again someday. What Jesus came to do was to “save the world.”
Save – sotzo – save (of Christian salvation); save, rescue, deliver; keep safe, preserve; cure, make well
World – kosmos – world, world order, universe; world inhabitants, mankind (especially of men hostile to God); world, realm of existence, way of life
What Jesus came to do was to “rescue humanity:” to bring us through the death we call life and restore us to fullness of life. Despite the tongue in cheek nature of the beginning of this post, I totally agree with my bumper sticker brethren: of course we have to be born again. I’m blessed to be born again every morning (sometimes multiple times a day), when, by the grace of God, I am able to live no longer for myself but for he who died and was raised again. When, by the grace of God, I’m able to choose to love my neighbor as myself. When, by the grace of God, I’m able to get out of my own brain and out of my own way and trust in him fully.
Who is ye? Me, that’s who. What about you?
*Photo is from a blog called “A Fool Forgiven” and is by no means meant to offer my approval of its contents.