What is with this serpent? It comes from Numbers, chapter 21. The Israelites had been complaining to Moses about God. God allowed them to run into seraph serpents, who were poisonous, and many of the people were bitten and died.
The people cried out for help, and God told Moses to put a bronze serpent on a pole. When the people looked at the bronze serpent, they were healed from the serpent’s bite.
Jesus uses this with Nicodemus. But before we get to this, I think we need to put the first verse of our reading into context. Just before our verse today, Jesus and Nicodemus are discussing being “born again” or being “born from above.” Nicodemus misunderstands Jesus, and Jesus gives him a short lesson on Baptism, saying we need to be born of water and the Spirit. And Saint Peter will say in his first letter that “Baptism now saves you”.
Being born again is a phrase you may have heard from other Christian groups. Their meaning is a little narrower than our meaning, but our meaning INCLUDES what they mean. Don’t forget that! Baptism is being born again!
Now, what follows our verse of concern today is also important and the …read more
Source:: Fr. Frank Jindra’s Homily Podcasts