Submitted by Jan on Sun, 05/03/2017 – 20:50
Second Sunday in Lent
Year A (2016-2017)
Bible Book: John
Verse: 1 – 17
Across much of East and Central Africa, a popular Swahili Christian tune rules the airwaves.
“Give me spiritual insight, for my physical eyes deceive me,” cries Tanzanian songbird, Christina Shusho in the song, Nipe Macho (Give me eyesight).
She adds: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is death. Your word says if my eyesight be well, my being shall be whole.”
She then proceeds to plead for the grace to see both herself and others as God does, and to overcome the superficiality that so cripples many in our age.
In the focus text given to us, one who was supposed to be gifted in sight is exposed as being awfully blind.
See far he could not, yet Nicodemus was a qualified Pharisee.
He does not grasp the mysteries of the Spirit, and the wonders of its moving.
In his time, insight into all these ought to have been as easy as a Sunday School picnic.
Yet, in diagnosing his weakness our Master goes further, inviting him to find joy in the journey of becoming God’s son.
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him,” Jesus tells him (v.14-16).
He then adds ((v.16-17), in arguably the most famous phrase of all times: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
The well-meaning inquirer is not belittled.
Instead, a respectful answer is provided in a consistent invitation towards eternity.
Whatever defenses he thought adequate from his pre-existing condition – of being a Pharisee – are demonstrably exposed as feeble, and unhelpful for a coming eternity.
To think about: What model does Jesus’ approach to ministry provide in our outreach to those either affected or infected by HIV/Aids? Do we need a fresh insight ourselves?
Written By: Jesse Masai is a development communication expert serving at St. Paul’s University Community Church in Limuru, Kenya and the Reformed Church of East Africa in the country’s North Rift region.
Author: Masai J (Mr)