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Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday September 19, John 3.7-15

John 3.7-157Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8The 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.” 9Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? 11“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.


Thoughts:  Martin Luther reminds us that the Holy Spirit blows when and where it wills, that is we cannot control the activity and presence of the Spirit.  I think Jesus is using this analogy over against the set and rather precise ways of the Pharisees.  It wasn't that the Pharisees were bad people--they weren't; but they were folks who had a pretty firm understanding of what God wanted and what God didn't, that is they were rather rigid.   God is always surprising God's people and whenever we think we have a handle on God---that is when we have probably lost our way.   But there is good news.  Just as Moses fashioned a bronze serpent in the wilderness as a kind of magical totem to heal the people of Israel who had been bitten by the snakes, so Jesus will be lifted up and serve as the means of salvation. 
 
Questions:  What do you think "Son of Man" means?  Do you think Nicodemus was getting frustrated at Jesus?  What part of following Jesus do you find most confusing?

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