May 30th 2021
There was a Jewish leader named Nicodemus,
who belonged to the party of the Pharisees.
One night he went to Jesus and said to him,
"Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher sent by God. No one could perform the miracles you are doing unless God were with him."
"I am telling you the truth:
no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again."
"How can a grown man be born again?" Nicodemus asked.
"He certainly cannot enter his mother's womb and be born a second time!"
"I am telling you the truth," replied Jesus, "that no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.
A person is born physically of human parents,
but is born spiritually of the Spirit.
Do not be surprised because I tell you
that you must all be born again.
The wind blows wherever it wishes; you hear the sound it makes,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going.
It is like that with everyone who is born of the Spirit."
"How can this be?" asked Nicodemus.
"You are a great teacher in Israel, and you don't know this?
I am telling you the truth: we speak of what we know and report what we have seen, yet none of you is willing to accept our message.
You do not believe me when I tell you about the things of this world; how will you ever believe me, then,
when I tell you about the things of heaven?
And no one has ever gone up to heaven except the Son of Man,
who came down from heaven.
As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert,
in the same way the Son of Man must be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not die
but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge,
but to be its saviour.
Those who believe in the Son are not judged;
but those who do not believe have already been judged,
because they have not believed in God's only Son.
This is how the judgment works:
the light has come into the world,
but people love the darkness rather than the light,
because their deeds are evil.
Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up.
But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God."
Jacob left Beersheba and started toward Haran.
At sunset he came to a holy place and camped there.
He lay down to sleep, resting his head on a stone.
He dreamed that he saw a stairway reaching from earth to heaven, with angels going up and coming down on it.
And there was the Lord standing beside him.
"I am the Lord, the God of Abraham and Isaac," He said.
"I will give to you and to your descendants this land on which you are lying. They will be as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth. They will extend their territory in all directions, and through you and your descendants I will bless all the nations.
Remember, I will be with you and protect you wherever you go,
and I will bring you back to this land.
I will not leave you until I have done all that I have promised you."
Jacob woke up and said,
"The Lord is here! He is in this place, and I didn't know it!"
He was afraid and said,
"What a terrifying place this is! It must be the house of God;
it must be the gate that opens into heaven."