March 14: John 2 & 3

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A Catering Disaster
What if you went into the post office and behind the counter, selling you postage stamps, was the President? You would probably wonder if there aren't more pressing issues for him to deal with. I mean, sure, mail is a government responsibility, but the President of the United States has bigger fish to fry. It would be like calling Microsoft because you're having problems updating your computer and you get Bill Gates on the phone—half the time I can't even get a human being, much less a CEO.

Today, we see Jesus handling some things we might consider outside His job description: the King of Kings is going to deal with a catering disaster. The Jews had been waiting for the Messiah for 4,000 years, since a promise given in the Garden of Eden. Finally He's here and there's no time to lose—only 3.5 years until He will be crucified. You might think He should be engaged in a fierce battle with Satan, or overthrowing the Roman Empire, yet here we find Him picking up the pieces from a poorly planned party. Time is money—He's on a mission to save mankind! So why does He take the time to go to a wedding?
Because He was invited.

Through this household miracle, Jesus showed His willingness to be a part of everyday life, not just emergency situations. Here we see Him perform his first miracle at a wedding and (spoiler alert) in a few chapters we'll see Him at a funeral. From altar to grave and everything in between, God is involved in our entire life. He cares about our little things. There's no miracle too big, or too small. Jesus is always willing. Remember that He wants to be a part of your life and invite Him into every moment.

Remember: Jesus wants to be part of your everyday life, not just emergency situations.

Nic at Night

Nicodemus knew he was missing something.

This is a condition universal to man. All people have a need, no matter how smart or respected they are. Nicodemus had it all—morals, power, success, influence. But he had a hole in his soul. Fortunately, he turned to the right place: Jesus.

I knew little about childbirth when I found out I was going to be a father. I went into birthing classes eager to know how this whole process worked and was pleased when the instructor in our very first class said, "Childbirth is simple." They went on to explain the 3 Ps: Passage, Passenger, Powers. Being a preacher, I immediately thought, well, nothing with a 3-point outline can be that difficult…passage = birth canal, passenger = baby, powers = contractions that enable the passenger through the passage. In the following weeks, however, I was more than overwhelmed by how complicated a process it could be: fetal monitors, breech births, meconium, cesarean, epidural, inducing—all of it sort of made me seasick. Then they had us watch videos of births. I went in curious and came out horrified.
In today's passage, Nicodemus is experiencing some birth confusion of his own as Jesus goes straight to the heart of the matter with an arresting statement that hits the jugular. “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus, a Jew who prided himself on his place in the kingdom of God—earned by old-fashioned hard work—must have been shaken to the core. To hear that nothing can save you but a second birth? Controversial, to say the least.

A baby doesn't earn his birth, it just happens. But if not born, he certainly can't live. So what does it mean to be born again?
The term "born again" has been pirated, ripped off, and cheapened. What it really means is to be born from above and given new life. This entire discourse is a contrast between human and divine, physical and eternal, spirit and flesh. Nicodemus is talking on human terms, Jesus on supernatural. Jesus draws attention to the heart—not the chambered, muscular organ that pumps your blood, but the essence of man, the soul, who you are in an eternal way. The part of you that can never be buried. It takes faith, as does any worldview, atheism included. That is how we are saved: through nothing but belief and trust in the Son. Nicodemus—in spite of his culture, position, fame, and religion—needed to be born again. Believe nothing else; look to Jesus.

Remember: Nothing but faith in Jesus can save.

(Excerpt from 21 Days in the Book of John by Levi Lusko and Fresh Life Church)