Tuesday, April 17, 2012

John 3

You Must Be Born Again

Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews. Jesus tells him that it is impossible to see the kingdom of God unless you are born again. He asks how you can be born again and Jesus replies that you must be born of water and spirit. Nicodemus asks how this can be and Jesus asks how he can be a teacher of Israel and not understand. He says "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe how can you believe heavenly things?"

Jesus says if you are not baptized then it is impossible to see the kingdom of God. This seems to make the "kingdom of God" more like what we normally think of as heaven than the earthly kingdom under rule of God discussed previously on this blog. Also, talking about being born again in spirit, sounds like he is talking of heavenly things to me as opposed to earthly things.

For God So Loved the World

God sent his son to earth so that whoever believes in him can have eternal life. If you don't believe you are condemned. If you are evil and do evil things you will hide from the light so your works will not be exposed.

I don't think belief is an act of will. If I don't believe in something, it is not an act of defiance, it is just that I have not been convinced. Punishing someone for not being convinced is not right. Put another way, suppose I don't really think any of this sounds real but I try to force myself to believe and act like I believe but deep down I really think the whole thing sounds fishy. Is that virtuous?

John the Baptist Exalts Christ

John and Jesus are both baptizing people, John's disciples tell him that Jesus is also baptizing and everyone is going to him. John says that he is from earth but Jesus is from heaven so Jesus is better than him.


  1. You Must Be Born Again. When talking about preforming signs. “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the son of man.”

    For God So Loved the World Excellent example of parenting from an all loving God. He sacrificed his own kid to save the world from the sins of Adam and Eve. I agree with you on the topic of belief. You can not force yourself to believe anything. I could no more make myself believe in Santa Claus than anything else without evidence.

    John the Baptist Exalts Christ He says that he comes not to judge. The next verse goes into the “those who don't believe will burn in hell.” He then baptizes everyone. If John can not remain consistent in his own gospel, how are we supposed to trust his account of what happened?

  2. I find your first link amusing, about the signs. Particularly because I think any reasonable person should demand a sign, otherwise you are believing for no reason.

    I like the contradictions you point out for "John the Baptist Exalts Christ." They are quick and easy. Pretty clear that they are contradictions, and although they are not the most important thing ever, they are not trivial either. I would argue that it matters whether or not Jesus was actually baptizing people for example.


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