November 14: Nicodemus

Read John 3:1-21

It’s been a rough year. My St. Louis Cardinals put together a very lack luster year that was capped off by missing the playoffs. Over the years, the Cardinals have been known for their elite play, regularly making the playoffs and even winning the World Series. While some people are reading way too far into this year, I’m chalking it up as just a down year.

There are other teams that are in the same division as the Cardinals that as a Cardinals fan, I’m not supposed to get along with or root for under any circumstances. On the weekends, I work at Jimmy John’s for a man that is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan. My best friend is a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. When all three of us are together, it’s a good ol’ time. While the Cardinals and Pirates had down years, the Cubs have been blitzing through the standings. They finished the year with the best record in baseball, and are currently competing against the Cleveland Indians for the World Series.

Historically, I’m not supposed to like the Cubs. Some old time Cardinals fans would go so far as to say that they don’t deserve a title or one reason or another. Personally, I would like to see a National League Central team win the series, sorry grandpa.

John 3 contains this same principle. During Jesus’ ministry, there were people that didn’t get along with Jesus in the slightest. With everything He said, they were always trying to twist His words in order to build a legal case against Him. Historically, the religious leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees) didn’t like Jesus. Under no circumstances were they to be seen talking to Him, much less sympathizing with His teachings.

Jesus knew this. He knew that Nicodemus would be chastised for simply inquiring of Him; Jesus was an enemy of the state. However, Jesus knew that although many thought we didn’t deserve hope, Jesus offered it to him anyway. Nicodemus’ life was changed because Jesus didn’t allow cultural standards get in the way of the gospel.

We all have “those people”; people that we don’t deem necessary for anything uplifting. However, Jesus was a great example of showing kindness and offering them hope even if they have done or said things to you. It is very important to know that no one is outside the realm of salvation; it doesn’t matter what they have said, what they have done, or who they are. Jesus died on the cross for the sins of THE WORLD. One hundred percent of humanity’s sins are forgiven and hold held against them. Why then are we holding it against them?

Who are you going to show hope to that doesn’t necessarily deserve it? If you really think about it, we don’t deserve forgiveness and hope for salvation, but Jesus offered it to us anyway.

jdl

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