A brief lesson in listening to hearts

Jesus talks to Nicodemus.

He talks about light and darkness and evil. He points to a Moses story. He scolds Nicodemus for not understanding, for being “Israel’s teacher” and not understanding.

Jesus talks to a woman getting water.

He talks about water and thirst and living water and hope.  She points to a Jacob story. He demonstrates that he knows about her life and still offers her relationship, never scolds.

1. Jesus uses images that relate to the setting.

2. Jesus has no interest in status, neither celebrating high or talking down to low.

3. Jesus isn’t first about condemnation, but rather invitation.

I will, during Lent, on occasion, only write 100 words.

forget the chapters

Miracles have a way of capturing attention.

If you have seen someone who was paralyzed and then isn’t, and you know that the clearest action between was talking with God, you stop and think. If you shouldn’t have enough food and you do, and you know the clearest action in between was talking with God, you pay attention.

When Jesus was visiting Jerusalem for the passover, people saw him doing miracles and believed. Even religious leaders noticed those miracles. One showed up after dark to talk with Jesus about them.

His opening statement?

“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.”

Nicodemus is in Jerusalem. From his leadership position, at the back of the crowds watching Jesus, he notices what is happening. He is aware that anyone who can do miracles like this is troubling to the status quo. He is also aware that anyone who can do miracles like this might have reason to trouble the status quo.

He uses the miracles as a starting point for conversation. Which is what Jesus wanted to come from the miracles.

This is the point of miracles I think. Not to consume them, but that they stir us to conversation with the one who performs them. Though they look like magic tricks, they don’t happen to merely impress the onlookers with how invisible the strings are. Instead, they happen to invite the onlookers to become partakers, conversants, introspectators. They invite us to say, “What kind of person could do those kinds of things?”

And the title for this post?

Because this story runs across the chapter line between 2 and 3, it’s way too easy to miss.

Like the One behind the miracles.