Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Church

God's Mysterious Ways

by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Devotional thoughts for Third Sunday after the Denaha

Gospel Reading: St. John 3:1-12

In the beginning of today’s reading we come across the audience and sweet conversation of Nicodemus, a mighty leader of the Pharisees had with our Lord Jesus in the calmness of night. Nicodemus, who opens his own heart, says with seriousness “Rabbi we know that you are a teacher come from God: for no man do these miracles that you do except God with him.”

We should not forget the truth that the Jews, in general, were against the statement of Nicodemus. Their main argument about our Lord was that our Lord spoke blasphemy (that He is the son of God, who has come from God etc.) The leaders and the High priests of the then religion were against Lord Jesus. Their intention in following our Lord was to find fault with Him or to trap Him by hook or crook. Kindly make a special note of the usage “we” in the statement of Nicodemus. Either he was representing a group of the like minded or he was sure of the others who had the similar views and faith. It is better to say and believe that God Almighty had called and separated a few from the scholars of the Jewish community too than telling that there were a few who had faith and hope in the ‘Son of God’. This is the greatness of the call from God. God Almighty showers His care towards his beloved.

Still God desires to keep at least a few from the mankind when and where all moral principles and teachings are disappearing or deteriorating day by day.

It is another note-worthy statement of Nicodemus. “No man can do these miracles that you do, except God be with him”. Kindly see St. John 1:14. “And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Our Lord responded to this statement by uncovering another truth. He said “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. It was really a new teaching for the people then and there. Here our Lord explains another truth about the will of God. He explained that the will of God is known to God only. Others cannot imagine even about the will of God. The question we come across in Ecclesiastes 11:5 is note worthy. “As you do neither know what is the way of the spirit nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child, even so you do not know the works of God who make all.” St. Paul’s statement in I Corinthians 2:11 is almost the same in meaning. We read “For which man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God is unknown to man, but the Spirit of God” Our Lord is declaring that the Baptism is an unavoidable must in the lengthy process of the salvation introduced and executed by our Lord. It was a primary information for the mankind.

Let us examine ourselves and find out whether we could add glory and growth to the Godly nature that we obtained through our infant baptism. We should not forget to praise God for the mercy we all enjoyed in having the great blessing when we were infants, that too without our initiative. What is our interest? Are we interested and longing to see the kingdom of God? Kindly read the verses 7 and 8, where our Lord explains the glory and greatness of the new life, one who might have the baptism.

In the 9th verse we come across another doubt raised by Nicodemus. “How can these things be”? We all are heaps and heaps of such doubts. Aren’t we? Nicodemus asked his doubt to Lord Jesus and made a clearance. What about us? When others might ask us questions, our doubts are increasing incredibly. When our Lord established the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, making sure of the salvation of the human race of the past, present and future, He declared: “This is my body and this is my blood. If one might partake from this, he/she will have everlasting life. He/she will remain in me and I in them”. When the Jews heard this they asked “How he could give his flesh to us to eat” (St. John 6:52)

As we could not have proper and staunch faith in God, our doubts are also remaining without an end. Isn’t it? We are blessed to hear every truth, we are blessed to believe in the true faith and we are blessed to taste and experience them. Still are we not keeping doubts of different nature and topics? Are we not having so many doubts about the basic truth and principles like infant baptism, prayer for the departed ones, intercession to St. Mary, Mother of God and other Saints, etc. If we do not believe in Lord Jesus our Savior, like the Jew, our doubts will increase day by day and there won’t be an end to such.

Lord Jesus asked Nicodemus: “You are a master of Israel and still you do not know these things”? Our Lord might be asking us “don’t you have faith in me, my beloved child”. Let us believe in Him firmly. Let us confess in our minds, Lord you are our master, our Lord, our God and our Redeemer.”

May God Almighty guide us in His truth and wisdom. May God bless us.

See Also:

Born anew
by H.G.Yuhanon Mor Meletius

Devotional thoughts for Third Sunday after Denaha
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

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