Trinity Sunday – Seeing Jesus (The Gospel Passage)

“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. (John 3:1-17)

Nicodemus was curious about Jesus, and most likely defying his fellow Pharisees, he went to talk to him. We can suspect this because he went late at night. He and Jesus talked about deep spiritual matters – for them. Take a moment to think about this, beloved reader; we can understand what Jesus meant (at least I am hopeful this is true for all of my beloved readers) because we have been educated in what it means to be spiritually minded. But for Nicodemus these were deep unfathomable ideas. Jesus rightly asked, “how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?”

We can see and recognize who Jesus is, and if you believe in the trinity, you can see how this is another aspect of God. Jesus said many times, “I come from God; if you know God, you know me. And if you know me, you know God.”

May you, beloved reader, see Jesus for who he was, is and will be; that part of God that came to us because the Divine so loved us! Selah!

What is Believed

The first three articles in the Mennonite Confession of Faith speak about Mennonite’s beliefs concerning God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. As each scripture passage from the confession of faith is used, I will identify which article uses that particular passage. These beliefs are not necessarily exclusive to Mennonites. But we have identified them as important.

In scripture God names the God-self “I am” and is meant to identify that God exists now, has always existed, and will exist for all time. We learn about God from what God has said to other believers, and from what feel God is saying to us. “God said to Moses: I am the eternal God. So tell them that the Lord, whose names is “I Am,” has sent you. This is my name forever, and it is the name that people must use from now on.” (Exodus 3:14-15 ) Throughout scripture God gives other names to the God-self, but God’s existence stands without question.

Jesus finds his source and inspiration in God, and is more closely akin to God then to humanity, even thought Jesus took human form. This human form was God’s way of bridging the gap between humanity and the Creator God. Jesus was the God-self in human form. Scripture says, “And think the same way that Christ Jesus thought: Christ was truly God. But he did not try to remain equal with God. He gave up everything and became a slave, when he became like one of us.” (Philippians 2: 5-7 ) Mennonites believe that Jesus was not just a man, but was God incarnate in humanity. But just because we profess does not mean it can be explained in a logical manner.

Faith is not always logical; but then that is what makes it faith – a believe we know is true but can not be analyzed with human means.

As we journey through scripture, and the confession of faith, there will many other times of accepting beliefs on faith and not on logic.

May your faith in God be firm, even it not logical in explanation. Selah!