Third Sunday of Epiphany’s time John 3:1-16 Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."
3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." 4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'
8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
9 "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.
10 "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?
11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.
14 Just as Moses l ifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
15 That everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16 "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. Meditation
The Gospel of the third Sunday of Epiphany’s time tells us about a Pharisee who is one of the Jews’ rulers named Nicodemus. He came to Jesus at night and made a conversation with him. This dialogue can be divided into three parts: the work of the Holy Spirit (1-8), the work of the Son (9-10) and the work of the Father (16-21). However, this dialogue has one issue: the second birth which consists of believing in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: - It is the Holy Spirit who makes from man a new person and gives him a second birth through His presence in the baptism’s water. - The work of the Son was revealed trough His incarnation, His explicit life, His passion, His crucifixion, His death, His resurrection and His ascension to heaven where He was glorified on the right of the Father. - However, the Work of God took place when He sent His only Son to world in order to save man. Nicodemus knew that Jesus is sent by the Lord due to the miracles that He did. For this reason, Jesus revealed to him the target and the goal of His mission which is the new creation of man by giving him a second birth from water and from Spirit through baptism. The second birth is that of the blessed water of baptism and of the Holy Spirit and it makes us sons of God forever. We can not enter the Kingdom of God unless we are born from water and Spirit. In this same context, Saint Ephraim the Syriac says, “The baptism became a mother who gives everyday birth to spiritual people, delivers new sons for God and blesses who gave us a second birth”. Saint Kerillos from Jerusalem says, “You dived in the water as if you entered the dark night and when you got out you became as those who are in broad day. At the same moment you were dead and born. This water became your tomb and your mother equally”. This gospel invites us to realize the importance of our baptism and of our new spiritual birth from the Holy Spirit. It also asks us to live according to our faith and witness to the endless love of God and work by virtue of His Holy Will. “Let us put the works of the dark, arming ourselves with light” (Rom 13/12).