Nicodemus: a Tale of the Reluctant Believer

John 3:1-21, 7:40-52, 19:38-42

Nicodemus is a fascinating dude. We see him first in John 3, sneaking in to see Jesus at night. He’s a respected religious leader of high social standing. He wants to know more about this itinerant preacher, but Jesus is a controversial figure, so Nicodemus comes at night. They talk. Nicodemus asks questions and Jesus answers. When Nicodemus can’t make sense of Jesus’ response, the LORD calls him to the ropes. ‘If you, the righteous elite don’t get it, how could anybody else?’ asserts Jesus. Nicodemus undoubtedly leaves befuddled, but Jesus doesn’t push him, nor does He call him out, exposing their meeting to the general public.

Instead, Nicodemus goes home and stews on it. A debate occurs some time later amongst the Jews. People are saying there is no way Jesus could be the Messiah. Nicodemus isn’t sold. He wants to hear more. We can only imagine that Nicodemus is asking around, maybe staying at the back of the crowd while Jesus is making his rounds about Israel. We don’t know if they ever talked again. We don’t see any other reference to Nicodemus until after Jesus is dead.

When Jesus’ body is taken down from the cross, Nicodemus is there, helping anoint him with oil. He gets it. Some would say, ‘too late,’ but it is never too late with God. Three days later, Jesus resurrected and Nicodemus undoubtedly is ready.

You see, for some, coming to acknowledge Jesus is LORD is a quick thing. You’re at a big event or stumble into church or listening to the radio, the preacher makes an altar call, and bam! you’re a believer. For others, it’s a long process. Sometimes, it takes the entirety of their earthly lives; but there is no time for God, only opportunity. The door is open. The invitation is waiting. Will you say, ‘yes,’ to Him?

Mary, Did You Know?

Over and over again,

Jesus tells us who He is,

what He will do

And even though we acknowledge

what He is saying

and His ability to do it,

we are still mystified by Him.

Mary His own mother,

The disciples

every single one of us

are amazed by Him

when He makes good His promises

maybe because we have a seed of cynicism

within us,

but more likely because Jesus,

God, the Holy Spirit

Triune and Complete

remain incomprehensible and awesome

to us

because that is their nature.

They are greater,

they are above

The Majestic that lives right beside us

Let us meet Them in the secret place

where they work wonders

and hear the whispers of Their heart to ours,

so that we too might be amazing.

Present

“Are you ready?” he said with his handlebar mustache and cologne.

“I believe so,” he said with his baseball cap hung low on his face.

He extracted from his person a gold watch. His guest’s eyes twinkled as they saw it.

He took a moment, then undid the clasp.

Suddenly, the cafe around them froze. Coffee stopped pouring. Customers ceased from talking. The world stood suspended in time.

Out from the opened pocket-watch arose a great light: a fairy with translucent wings. It danced about the cafe. He watched it, a boy again.

As it flew over the man’s hand, he caught it and handed it to his guest.

“It’s yours now,” he said.

The guest reached over and took it

“What shall I do with it?” he said.

“That’s up to you,” said the man, “but I pray you do something beautiful.”

The guest took it. It sparkled in his hand, dissolved into his skin. Her eyes shone an iridescent blue.

“I will do just that said,” he said.

The world began to move again. The man disappeared, but his guest remained, iridescent as ever and ready to take on the day.

 

Einstein’s Dice

Albert Einstein once said, “God does not play with dice.”

He was speaking of quantum theory. They were beginning to find that atomic particles, on the subatomic level, exist in multiple locations and cannot be nailed down to just one.

But Einstein, even though he pioneered quantum theory, disagreed. He swore science would be able to define everything, but that was not the case.

No matter how much we are able to describe about the Universe, still a part of it evades description and remains a mystery.

Even the smartest minds cannot begin to fathom the wonder of the Divine, but it is so much fun finding out little bits more each day.

The Deeper You Go

There is a strange interplay to be found

between science and magic,

I could explain intimacy in terms of chemical reactions

Oxytocin is released

when an owner pets his dog,

when a child suckles at her mother’s breast,

when two people make love in the night

This oxytocin is the hormone responsible for bringing us closer together, for creating bonds,

but what service would I do to anyone to just leave it at that

Intimacy is so much more, and yet

still the simple matter of biology remains

Life is both an equation and an occasion,

a formula all people can enjoy.

Does knowing the inner working of a machine make it any less magical,

seeing the backstage of a performance any less engaging?

Indeed, tearing away the curtain, revealing the man at the controls

only makes it more beautiful,

if there is any beauty to be found in the first place.

That is the division between fact and fraud,

the latter can only take your so far

before the thrill expires,

whereas the former only gets more amazing

the deeper you go.