Summary: Jesus’ encounter with Nick the Vic (aka Nicodemus) and what we can learn
Sunday Sketch Jesus and Nick the Vic
Cast: Narrator 1, Narrator 2, Jesus and Nick the Vic
Narrator 1: Our reading is taken this morning from John 3: 1-21 – and is a slightly freer translation than you’d get in the Message or in the Living Bible
The story starts off with Nick the Vic, a prominent leader among the Jews and a Pharisee coming late one night to Jesus and Nick started the conversation by saying:
Nick: "Rabbi, we all know you’re a teacher who speaks words straight from God. No one could do all that you are doing if God wasn’t in on the act."
Narrator; Jesus replied
Jesus: "Nick, you’re spot on mate. Take it from me: Unless a person is born again, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing you to—to God’s kingdom."
Nick: “Jesus, what are you talking about? You make about as much sense as the Archbishop of Canterbury did this week.
How can anyone be born again – when he’s already been born and grown up? You can’t go back into your mother’s womb and be born again. What’s this ’born-again stuff” about"
Jesus: "Nick, you’re not listening. Read my lips.
I’ll say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ’wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom.
When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch.
But the person who takes shape within - is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Holy Spirit—and then they become a living spirit.
So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ’born again’.
I know it’s out of this world, so to speak.
You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that.
You hear it rustling in the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s heading next.
That’s the way it is with everyone ’born again’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God."
Nick (puzzled now): "What do you mean by this? How does this happen?"
Jesus "Nick, you’re a vicar and you don’t know these basics? Listen carefully because I’m telling you the truth.
I am talking about what I know from experience. I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here. Yet instead of facing up to the evidence and accepting it, you are procrastinating with your questions.
If I tell you things that are plain and simple to see - and you don’t get it, what use is there in telling you more complicated things of - things you can’t see?
"No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, that’s me -the Son of Man.
In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, so it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.
Narrator 1: Jesus went on to say: “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And why: so that no one need be destroyed.
By believing in him, which means putting his teaching into effect in your life and following him anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world to right. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; Anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one and only Son of God when introduced to him.
Narrator 2: Jesus went on to say further
This is the crisis we’re in: God’s light has streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for cover in the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God.Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God’s light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure.
But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God’s light so the work can be seen for God’s that it is." (I have taken some slight liberties with The Message)
Story: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip.
They set up their tent and fell asleep.
Some hours later, Holmes woke his faithful friend.
"Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."