Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” John 3:3 niv
In our last musings we were considering being children of God, that because Jesus offered his life on our behalf we could come into relationship with God and it is our sin (our refusal to trust God) that separates us from that relationship.
Here we see the dilemma that humanity has. Our souls were created to worship and love God, our hearts desire is to worship and love self and our bodies follow our hearts desire but our souls are crying out for God.
No wonder we live mixed up, confusing lives at times.
So how do we go from living outside of God’s original plan to living within God’s original plan?
The only way
There was a guy in the New Testament who realised there was a dilemma between how he was living and the life Jesus was describing. This wasn’t any old guy he was a member of the Jewish ruling council, so a pretty high up chap. He was also a Pharisee, a rule maker and a rule keeper for the Jewish people, he was someone who knew the law of God and how to keep it.
However, there was something that unsettled this man’s confidence in his standing in the community. He took his responsibilities seriously and wanted to do the right thing by the people he was leading and there was something in the words of Jesus that caused him to not be able to sleep.
In the gospel of John Chapter 3 we find this guy Nicodemus approaching Jesus at night, whether that was because he didn’t want the other leaders or congregation to know what he was doing or whether he just couldn’t sleep because deep down he knew there was something he needed to understand but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
Wham! Jesus spoke the truth he needed in the very first sentence he spoke to Nicodemus ‘no-one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again’. As always Jesus gets to the heart of the problem, this was the unknown dilemma that Nicodemus was grappling with.
As Jesus shares the truth of this statement with Nicodemus we as readers are drawn to one of the most quoted words of the bible v16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
What is your response to this statement? Do you accept it, do you reject it or do you understand it?
Interestingly at this point we are not told of Nicodemus’ response what we do know from his interaction with Jesus, that through all his years of learning and teaching of God’s word that there was something missing at the core of his understanding, there was something crucial that he needed to learn and it began with his heart.
Do you believe in miracles?
Whether we know anything about the word of God or whether we have spent a lifetime studying it there is something we too need to get to grips with.
V12 “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?”
We don’t know everything we need to know! There is something missing in our understanding because it involves heaven and as Jesus goes onto say there is only one among us who has come from heaven and that is Jesus himself.
So, what does it take to be born again?
A work of heaven, the work of God……a miracle.
Maybe you ask how do I gain this miracle, how is this possible for me to be born again? Jesus really wants Nicodemus and us to understand what part we play in this process as he mentions the same word 7 times through this passage…….