John 3:9-11, 14-15, 17-21


Trusting and Expectant


     9 Nicodemus asked, “What do you mean by this? How does this happen?”
     10-12 Jesus said, “You’re a respected teacher of Israel and you don’t know these basics? Listen carefully. I’m speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions. If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don’t believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can’t see, the things of God?
     13-15 “No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.
     16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
     19-21 “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”

Lectio Divina

Read – before you read the passage, understand that Jesus ha just told Nicodemus (a scholar and teacher) that he must be “’born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God” (verse 8). But Nicodemus is confused. Now read the passage silently.

Think – Read the passage again, aloud this time, putting yourself in the place of Nicodemus standing on the rooftop in the moonlight, receiving Jesus’ words.
     1.  Which words or phrases stand out to you? Consider these:
          *Everyone who looks up to [the Son of Man], trusting and expectant, will gain real life, eternal life.
          *”God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending God’s Son merely to point an accusing finger…[the Son] came to help, to put the world right again.”
          *Anyone who trusts in [the Son of Man] is acquitted.
          *God-light streamed into the world.
          *Anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.
      2.  Why?

Pray – Talk to Jesus about any phrases that confused you. Talk to him about the phrases that captivated you.

Live – Sit quietly before God. Put yourself n the place of Nicodemus gin – possibly lying in your bed each light, going over these words Jesus said to you. Which words will you drift off with tonight?

Lectio Divina study is taken from The Message: Solo by Eugene Peterson.