Nostalgia is really big nowadays. Look at Facebook for more than 5 minutes and you’ll see half a dozen articles, videos, and other various clickbait-y posts talking about how so and so is 20 this year, or how the cast from [Insert random sitcom here] is coming together for a reunion mini-episode. I think this apparent resurgence of nostalgia comes from a problem that is not so new: that change is one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to deal with. Nobody likes leaving good things behind, whether they be tangible items, moments, or even parts of ourselves that we like. However, when God brings change, it is always for the better, and this passage deals with that fact. We see two people, Nicodemus and John, who have very different reactions to the change that Jesus brings. Nicodemus, a pharisee, is of good standing in the community, but is still interested in Jesus, so he meets with Him in secret, where Jesus talks about the change that must happen in our hearts for us to be saved (namely, to be born of the spirit by believing in Jesus). We don’t know how Nicodemus responds, so we can’t rightly judge him, but we can infer by the fact that he met Jesus under the cover of night that maybe he was a little worried about the reactions of his peers if he did anything to go against the established system. On the other hand, John readily makes way for Jesus, saying that he should decrease so Jesus could increase. This scares his followers, because it looks like Jesus is just stealing John’s shtick, but John understands that his work was only a prologue. Both men worked for God, but John realized that it was better to hold fast to God and let Him determine what good things passed in and out of his life than to hold onto good things, even if they are from God, only to risk being swept away with them when they eventually go. God knows what we need, and He doesn’t rejoice in our misery; things will come and go, but God remains. Maybe the boat got you through the sea, and you should never forget the good that it did you, but it makes no sense to lug it up the shore.
Thanks to Scott Meadows for the passage suggestion!
#john3 #nostalgia #trust