The Meeting That Will Change Your Life – By Father Andrew Bahhi
I pray all your families, homes and kids are protected in this time. And I pray for everyone of else, may God give healing and fast recovery. I pray that when we come to the church, we can be the people God expects, and we be true children of God to meet with God.
In the Bible reading today, the Book of John 3:21 speaks of a famous story about the meeting between Jesus and Nicodemus, one of the Jewish leaders and elders. Among the people he had big honor and was a rich man. This was beautiful conversation between our Savior and this man.
We meet a lot of people in our life. From the second we open our eyes to the second we go to sleep, meeting people is part of our life.
But how much do these meetings affect our lives in general, and our spiritual lives?
After some meetings, we feel discouraged, while in other meetings we feel so encouraged. I pray that when we leave the church, we feel we are lifted because we need and receive Jesus.
This happens when we open our hearts and say “Lord, take shame, sins, inequities, and shortcomings. Take every bad thing I have done. And come and dwell in our hearts.”
Many people come to me and say, “Abouna, I’ll never forget a certain time, place and person. And a person said this word to me and since then, I am broken.” Or they say, “I have a wound in my heart and my emotions.”
And yet, on the other hand, others also say “Abouna, when I met this person, they made such a difference in my life.”
So can you see how important meetings are in our Christian life? This is what happened in the meeting between Nicodemus, a man with great social position, and Jesus. He was not happy. Nicodemus was meeting people, looking for the truth and guarantees for the eternal life, and he was not satisfied.
He was looking for the life. He was looking for somebody to help him to move from his darkness to the bath of lights. So, when he met Jesus, he asked “How can I be saved? How can I inherit the kingdom of God? Can you tell me? Because you are a teacher.”
Why do we go to church? Open the Bible? Pray? Or why do we wear a cross or call ourselves Christian? If we did not meet Jesus personally, I believe our faith is just practice. Good from outside, but empty inside.
It would be as if we did not meet the Savior and say, “Lord I want to be with you, not only in church but always.”
This text is reflecting each one’s desire, those who are looking for the truth, and the only way is with Jesus. Because Jesus says “I am the light. I am the truth. I am the way.”
This text is telling us that if we did not meet Jesus yet, we need to kneel down. Say, “Lord, I know you are with us in the church because your word said so. I want to meet you today. I want to see you, carry you in my heart. Not only when I am in the church, but every single day of my life.
For the people who meet Jesus and believe in him, and they follow him, they do so because they are true disciples and Christians. Those are the ones who find the truth and the light.
As opposed to those who meet Jesus and are not looking for the truth. They are looking for themselves, their people.
How many Pharisees, how many Sadducees, how many Jewish leaders, how many people met Jesus and did not follow Jesus. And can you imagine those people who crucified Jesus? They met Jesus!
So, meeting Jesus makes you a true believer and Christian. Or it can condemn you.
John 3 tells us about the first of three times we meet Nicodemus in the Bible. The second time, he says to his accusers, how can you judge a man without his testimony? And the third time, after Jesus’s death, he bought a lot of fragrances and oils to anoint the body of Jesus after His death.
So, if you are looking for Jesus and want to meet Him, Jesus is now with us. Just open your heart and say “Lord, I repent. I ask you to accept my repentance. I know I have done bad things. I know I am so weak to come to you.”
But if you have these feelings, and you underestimate yourselves, this day is for you. Jesus comes to the broken, the sick, the people who had evil destroy their lives in the past. Those are the people who Jesus came to meet.
Exactly like Nicodemus. He had everything. And yet he had no peace, no guarantee for salvation. But when he met Jesus, a new direction came. And Jesus can do the same for us. We just need to do one thing – to repent from all our heart and to continue to live this life of repentance.
And you will find that on this day, Jesus changed your direction and changed your life, from the way of crisis to the way to the Holy Christ.
Learn more in Father Andrew’s sermon here.
May 21, 2023