A God that is more than we can ever understand
John 3:1-17 | Nicodemus Visits Jesus
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.” The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can these things be?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
‘Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Just when you think that you have God figured out, there is always more to experience. Nicodemus was experiencing a “more than” moment with Jesus. Just when Nicodemus thought he had the ways of salvation figured out – he discovered the God in the flesh who was more love than he could ever imagine.
Which is why the church for centuries has been confessing this doctrine of the Trinity. Over the years the creeds by which we confess who and what God is and does have become “more than” words. These Creeds form the basis of our baptism and our faith. They teach us that God is always more than we can ever understand.
As we journey through our lives of faith, we live in constant discovery of a God who is always more grace, more love, more peace, beyond that which we could ever understand. When our human failings show up, there is always a God who is more than enough for us, and for this whole world.
As we mark this first Sunday in Ordinary time, we start, just as we do with every worship service, naming the God who is Father, Son, and Spirit – so that everything that comes after might be a confession and reflection of God who is more than we could ever understand.