Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Church Year and the Lectionary Commentary – Trinity Sunday (Day 4)


John 3:1-17
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?”
10 “Jesus answered, “You are a teacher of Israel and you don’t know these things? 11 I assure you that we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you don’t receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Human One 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so must the Human One be lifted up 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. 16 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. 17 God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

Hear ye, hear ye!  God reveals his motive for sending his Son.

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son . . .”

What’s that?  God doesn’t hate fags?  Democrats?  Socialists?  Women?  The poor?  Non-Caucasians?

“God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”

Very confusing - I see God’s people judging others all the time!

You can’t go to a ballgame in this country without seeing “John 3:16” adorning every nook and cranny of visible body parts.  But maybe if it adorned our hearts we’d be in a little better shape.   

(I wonder how much it will hurt to get those tattoos on my fingertips removed?!)

But let us be clear.  We can only know of God what God tells us about himself.  What we think God should be like or how he should run his creation is useless speculation and usually gets us in trouble.  Fortunately, God has told us in language as clear and direct as possible what his motivation is in sending Jesus Christ for us – LOVE!  God has made known his purpose in sending Jesus Christ as well – TO SAVE, not judge!

Let us never ever forget or obscure this – the consequences are too important!

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