Commentary on Lent 2A : Jesus’ Encounter with Nicodemus
Jean Vanier in his book Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John introduces the story of Nicodemus with these words,
“We all need security, and yet to be fully live we also need to take risks. Too much security stifles us, while too much insecurity brings fear and anguish. How can we plan for the future and yet be open to the unforeseen?”
Nicodemus comes to Jesus claiming “to know.” He is sure of himself, yet somewhere deep inside, he must know that something is missing. It doesn’t take long for Jesus to turn Nick’s knowing into confusion. Being born again, wind blowing all over the place, Moses and the serpent, saving and condemning. Typical of John, Jesus gets carried away with his preaching and we end up with a very confused Nick (let alone confused readers 2000 years later).
I am always a bit uncomfortable around Christians who are too certain, who know who is a Christian and who isn’t, who know what God wants us to do, who know that they are among the saved. In these confusing times, it is tempting to pretend that we know. I know of ministers who know just what their congregations need to do. I wish I could be so sure. But wallowing in confusion can be stifling. Is it possible to be confused and yet step out in faith and do what we need to do?