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How do you respond to Nicodemus' questions?

This week we invite you to do a Lectio Divina practice with your group using the readings from the gospel. Below is a copy of the gospel reading for you to use, and you can select different people to read the gospel for each of the three parts. As you feel comfortable, take time to share your responses with the group after each step.


John 3:1-17


There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”


Step One

Read the gospel once through with the intention of seeing which word or phrase jumps out to you the most. Write down or wonder about that word or phrase for a moment before sharing it with the group.


Step Two

Read the gospel again with the intention of identifying what parts of the story bring up feelings of discomfort or challenging questions. Take a moment to hold these questions and feelings, without trying to answer them, and see where you feel this discomfort in your body. Share what came up for you with the group.


Step Three

Read the gospel one more time and discuss the following wondering as a group:


What is God calling me to do and/or change in response to this reading?

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