This Sunday’s focus Bible story is in the gospel of John 3:1-17. The word “gospel” means “good news.” There are four books called gospels in the Bible and they all have stories about the things that Jesus said and did, each one telling the story in a different way. This week’s story is about a Pharisee named Nicodemus who went to see Jesus one night.
Who is Nicodemus? Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a respected teacher in the Jewish society. Pharisees were religious leaders who knew a lot about religious laws. Some Pharisees thought that Jesus was a good teacher and some did not. Nicodemus came to see Jesus because he had heard about his miracles, teachings, and knowledge about the Scriptures. Nicodemus recognized Jesus as someone with whom he could discuss his questions about God’s way. “We know you are a teacher who has come from God,” Nicodemus states. And yet, the fact of his visiting at night may suggest he is unsure about it.
Questioning is an important part of learning. All of us, regardless of age, are on a continuing journey of learning, for our entire lives. The best teachers are themselves learners and all learning is a collaborative process between learners and teachers. Questioning is also an important part of our faith development. This time of exploring life questions in a safe space, enables our youth to move toward owning their own faith. Some teachers are uncomfortable with questions about faith because they think they must have all the answers. But what is more important than having all the answers is the ability to listen to young people and encourage their questions.
Nicodemus, himself a teacher and a learner, displayed great courage by asking his questions to Jesus, also a teacher. Jesus took Nicodemus seriously and affirmed his deep desire to know and understand. We hope and pray that at our group at Faithworks, will feel free to wonder and explore their questions about faith and encounter God’s love in the affirmation of these questions. Pp
All children and youth are welcome to join us for Bible story time and activities on the 2nd floor after the time of conversation with the pastor. Childcare is available for children 4 and under on the 2nd floor as well.