John 3:9-10

“How can these things be?” (v. 9)

In 2020, I lost my dear friend Janie to cancer. She was one of the most talented women I have ever known, and I marveled at her abilities. Janie was as comfortable threading a sewing machine as she was using a screwdriver. She served on the building and grounds committee at our church, and when something broke, she knew what to do.

Whenever I walk into a hardware store, however, I am entering a foreign land. My lack of mechanical ability means that I do not understand how to put things together or take them apart. When I need to repair something, I know to rely on someone like Janie. 

Maybe Nicodemus talks to Jesus at night because he understands his limitations. The longer we live, the more we realize that life breaks everyone in some way and every life needs spiritual repair. Perhaps this Pharisee has been a religious leader long enough to know that when it comes to helping others heal spiritually, he needs to rely on someone like Jesus. Jesus pinpoints the problem when he responds, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?” (v. 10). With what tone of voice do you hear Jesus ask Nicodemus this question? Does this sentence make Nicodemus want to wince or hide? Does it assure him that Jesus sees beyond the surface of their conversation and is diagnosing the real problem in his soul? Maybe this turning point in their dialogue is not just painful, but also full of mercy.

Christ knows how to fix our brokenness, too. When we rely on the one who makes us whole, painful moments become merciful ones as well.


In what ways are you broken and in need of repair? 


God, help us know that if we want to be whole, we need you to help us. Amen.

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