In Lent we frequently turn to the Gospel of John, for it contains a rich commentary on the events of the life of Jesus. In the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus in chapter 3 of the gospel Jesus explains privately to a Jew the significance of the coming of the Son of God. Nicodemus was described at the beginning of this chapter as a teacher. This teacher is willing to be taught by Jesus. The evangelist will not tell us whether Nicodemus accepts the teaching or not. After some early exchanges, we then hear no more words of Nicodemus, but only the teaching of Jesus.
The raising up of the Son of God speaks both of his death on the cross and of his resurrection. His death is considered glorious. It leads inevitably to resurrection and triumph. The coming of the Son and his self-giving in death and resurrection are the clearest proof of the love of God for the world. People are called to respond in faith. As St Paul teaches, it is by God’s grace that we are saved, through faith. God saves us if only we will allow it. To refuse Christ knowingly is to refuse salvation.
The symbol of light is common in John’s gospel. From the very start of the gospel we learnt that the Light came into the world to challenge the darkness, and that the darkness could not overpower the Light. The theme of light returns here. Nicodemus comes to Jesus during the night. Like him we are free to embrace the light or to prefer darkness. Reference to ‘the truth’ is also frequent in John’s gospel. We will live by the truth, if we allow Jesus to lead us ever deeper into that truth.
Where do you need the light to shine in your life?
What does ‘living by the truth’ mean?
Let us pray for those who are discovering the truth of Christ.
Let us pray for those who struggle to see and accept the light.