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Flesh & Spirit

January 17, 2017

Nicodemus had clearly been charmed by Jesus, for no one could do such miracles unless God Himself were with him.

So Jesus walked the open heart into the deep things of God: He told him how to see the kingdom of God.

Puzzled, Nick asked, ‘What’s this second birth you’re talking about, Lord?’

Jesus spoke of the need to be born of the Spirit, beyond that of water. Illustrating it as Spirit beyond flesh, one superior, the other inferior. The flesh merely feeling what is visible and able to bear fruit after its (inferior) kind, but the Spirit, akin to the wind, making its presence felt to the flesh and yet not confined by the order of it.

Jesus, apparently in unison with the earthly voice, J the B, cites that together they had borne testimony, John now in his earthly role, Jesus now as the One from above, and yet Nick was resistant!

And then sure enough Jesus broke into what no man might have conceived, introducing it as the message from heaven: the most beautiful message humankind has ever heard, the crystal clear Gospel! That Jesus would give his life as a ransom for the sin of the world, that whoever believes in Him will inherit eternal life. And with the most inviting of all clauses besides: that the very mission of Jesus was to save, to seek, not to condemn but give everlasting life (indeed the whole world knows John 3:16!). Indeed a message that can only be from above, beyond all human comprehension or conception.

J the B who was baptizing with water, announcing and preparing a people ready to be baptized with fire, over and above John’s simple, smaller preparation, endorsed this (most interestingly recorded immediately following this narrative!) with such unmistakable clarity: that John was like a mere best-man, Jesus like the groom who takes the bride; that Jesus is greater, John the lesser; that Jesus is from above, John from below.

Indeed I see in the reference to water/flesh all human (for John baptized with water and prescribed a purification/preparation by conscientious living), contrived law-keeping, meticulous rigorous rules of spirituality and (I see) in the Spirit, divine enablement (the baptism of Jesus by fire, a purification by the most potent cleansing agent – eternal atonement). Then what’s there to lose in the offer except to step up immediately?

The blood of Jesus poured out as a ransom for the sin of the world! Drink from the River of Life to live. His body broken for you. Take, eat of this bread of life, for this is the New Covenant.

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