3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 4″How can a man be born when he is old?”
What would you do if, after years of religious training, you realized that the God to whom you had been praying all your life might have shown up in your neighborhood? Nicodemus was a man who wanted to know the true God, and he was at least willing to ask Jesus some questions, but I’ll bet he never expected the reply he received.
Born again? How is it possible? Yet Jesus knew that, in order for Nicodemus to trust him, he would have to experience a spiritual rebirth that would put aside all his power, position and spiritual knowledge and completely transform him. Jesus’ response was simple and profound “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”
Water for cleansing from the old ways and sins, and the new life of the Spirit to blow through the cobwebs of ecclesiastical piety with a fresh wind of God’s presence and power—totally unpredictable and utterly amazing.
When I was in the 9th grade, a youth pastor challenged my “pat God answers” and asked me if I wanted to know Jesus personally. I had never thought of it before. I had always believed in God but I had never considered being born again. Now I was meeting with Jesus, sitting in his presence and allowing God to birth something new in me. Unexpectedly, the God who had been way out there in the cosmos became a very close and real friend, someone I could trust and let take the reigns of my life. I had never felt so free! I was in a wonderful new place of helpless dependency, trust and faith.
What about you? Are you still considering Jesus from a distance or are you willing to meet with him and be born again?
Lord, help me to live my life for you as someone who is born again, daily cleansed and transformed by your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for. Charles Haddon Spurgeon