Are we still aware of the miraculous? Technology allows us to witness many astounding things. We are now able to do things we were unable to imagine a century or two ago. The movie screens allows us to witness things that are not, or will ever, be real. Has this desensitized us to the miraculous? Do we find our response to reports of supernatural phenomena to be cynicism? What does it take to impress you? What causes you to investigate God’s wonders?
John 3:1-7 (CSB)
1 There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could perform these signs you do unless God were with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 “How can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again.
What is the message to Nicodemus. Jesus is telling him about the kingdom of God. What must one do to enter the kingdom of God? One must be born again. To be “born again” is a phrase that has taken over language in Christianity. It seems that we find the key to eternal life here in the 3rd chapter of John. And indeed John says that those who believe will have eternal life. So what are the details of the message?
We see that one must be born again. This did not make much sense to Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a leader of the Jews. He, therefore, would have been knowledgeable of spiritual things and with God and His domain. What was it that made Him seek out Jesus? He recognized that Jesus was able to do things that were not possible. The only response to these works is to recognize them as “signs”…they point to Jesus as being someone extraordinary…uniquely extraordinary. This causes him to seek Jesus. Jesus immediately addresses spiritual matters. “You must be born of water and spirit.” We were all born of water when our mothers gave birth to us. But, now we are faced with a second birth. We must be born of the Spirit.
So, how can we be born of the Spirit? That answer is in 3:16-18. We must believe in the Son.