I Don't Get It

Friday, March 10, 2017

John 3:1-17nicodemus

It happens over and over again in the gospel of John.
Jesus says something and everyone—the crowds, the strangers he meets, his friends, his opponents, even his disciples—stand there scratching their heads.

We see them not getting it, over and over, encounter after encounter, page after page. They don’t understand what he’s saying. They don’t get what he means by “born from above” or “living water” or “living bread” or pretty much anything else that comes out of his mouth. Their questions reveal their lack of understanding. They repeat his words with a mocking tone and laugh at how ridiculous it all sounds.

We see it with Nicodemus this week, coming to Jesus at night. We imagine him turning to head home, still in the dark about Jesus, his face shadowed with confusion.

Nevertheless in the Gospel of John, something very strange happens. The curious continue to follow. Those who don’t have the words to explain Jesus still beckon to others, “Come and see.” The ones who walk away with lingering questions tend to find their way back.

The gospel of John is not about understanding Jesus.
It is not about getting it.

Instead, each time Jesus opens his mouth the listener can’t help but draw in closer. It is an invitation to spend a little longer puzzling over his strange words. Our questions beg us to hang around a little while longer and see what happens next. And before you know it, you are leaving everything behind and following him to yet another town.  

This gospel is all about being in relationship with Jesus.

This is a relationship that calls us to exchange certainty for wonder.
This is a relationship that shows its worth in a wealth of questions, rather than answers.
This is a relationship that trades the familiar, old life for the new, yet to be revealed life of the resurrection.

So when you hear the gospel of John, don’t feel bad if you don’t get it. You’re not the only one.
And anyways, that’s not the point.