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This Is Us | Story Changing Place | Excuses

This Is Us | Story Changing Place | Excuses

A man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews…came to Jesus by night…”  John 3:1-2

Dignity was everything. Israel’s God was to be honored, His law kept, and one’s reputation upheld at all costs. Nicodemus had lived by that checklist since infancy. It felt good to be good. People respected you. Life went better. Obeying the law made sense, so Nic made a career out of being good. But this new Teacher was talking about a new life, a spiritual life, that didn’t sound like the religion Nicodemus knew. It intrigued him, but also made him uncomfortable. What would people think if they saw him talking to this renegade Rabbi? He wanted to follow this Man, listen to His teaching, but… He wanted to be a fully committed believer like those disciples, but… Totally committing to Jesus had a price tag. It still does.

Nicodemus could have passed any moral code or Bible trivia quiz, but Jesus told him there was more. People had to be born again, transformed on the inside by the power of the Holy Spirit. Nic’s heart recognized truth, but… There was always a BUT. That BUT was the dividing line between knowing about Jesus and really knowing Jesus. It still is. When we attach a BUT to anything God asks us to do, we set ourselves up as gods. The good news is that by the time Jesus was crucified, Nic had kicked the BUT aside. He boldly approached his fellow religious rulers and asked to bury the body of Jesus. The foot of the cross became Nic’s story changing place. And the place where we kick the BUT aside becomes our story changing place.

Final Thought:  What excuses are you making for not becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus?

Prayer: Lord, I see some traits of Nicodemus in me. I care more about what people think than whether I am pleasing you. I confess that as sin. Please forgive me. I’m kicking aside all the excuses I’ve made. No more BUT. In Jesus’ name, Amen.