January 26, 2014
Key Verse: “Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’” John 3:3
Time: 30-33 CE
Background: Nicodemus likely came by night so he wouldn’t be seen by others. Nighttime also symbolized unbelief, as the light symbolized belief. Nicodemus came with questions and doubts about Jesus, his authority, and his message.
Nicodemus’s lack of understanding about being “born from above” or “born again” might mirror our own. What does it mean to be born again? Our Christian heritage of baptism can place a layer of understanding, as we understand baptism as giving new life through water and Spirit. But perhaps it is okay to let the ambiguous language hold some mystery.
Community: What does it mean that “everyone who believes in him may not perish”? What of non-believers? How might you go about opening a respectful conversation with a non-believer about eternal life?
At Home: In baptismal imagery, we die to the old self in order to be born anew. What needs to die within you so that God can create new life there? How can you let go of that which keeps you from claiming God’s new life?
Read This Week:
Monday, Jan 27, The Inescapable God, Psalm 139:1-3
Tuesday, Jan 28, The Inescapable God, Psalm 139:4-6
Wednesday, Jan 29, The Inescapable God, Psalm 139:7-9
Thursday, Jan 30, The Inescapable God, Psalm 139:10-12
Friday, Jan 31, The Inescapable God, Psalm 139:13-18
Saturday, Feb 1, The Inescapable God, Psalm 139:19-24
Next Week: Sunday, Feb 2, Woman at the Well, John 4:1-42