Read: JOHN – CHAPTER THREE – verses 3-21
To really perceive the Kingdom of God, the starting place is being born again. These words blew the mind of Nicodemus. His imagination stuttered! His verbal response is laughable:
“How can one enter into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
To be forgiven, he had a reference. But to be “born again”, he had no reference!
While Nicodemus is wrestling with the concept, Jesus forges ahead in verses 5-6:
“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit, is Spirit.”
Being born again is not about starting over, it’s about beginning a life we’ve never lived!
Beyond human understanding is God’s offer to all who believe in Jesus. On the day of Pentecost, people listened to Peter’s message of who Jesus was and of what He had done with their eyes wide open. On a spiritual level their hearts became spiritually agitated as the Holy Spirit brought conviction. Their response to Peter was a short four-word question:
“What shall we do?”
The Apostle Paul clarifies Peter’s answer to this question in Romans 10:9-10:
- Repent! Confess with your mouth both your sins and who Jesus is.
- Believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, and be saved.
Easy for believers to understand 2,000 years later, but not in Nicodemus’ time with Jesus!
Consider Jesus’ explanations 2,000 years ago from Nicodemus’ pre-resurrection point of view:
#1. Jesus compared the conviction of the Holy Spirit to the operations of natural wind! verse 8
#2. Then He explained things from the Trinity’s point of view: verse 11
“We speak what We know and testify of what We have seen, and you receive not Our witness!”
#3. Jesus speaks of Himself as the resurrected Lord descended and returning to heaven. verse 13
#4. He equates His future resurrection with Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness. verse 14-15
#5. Jesus clarifies his mission: “Not to condemn the world but that the world be saved.” verses 17-21
Wedged in the middle of these verses is the famous verse: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Overwhelmed, Nicodemus is then confronted with the comparison of light and darkness. As a learned professional, He had some thinking to do. Beyond Jesus’ confrontation with Nicodemus, He teaches us the workings of the Holy Spirit to pull us into experiencing Jesus and perceiving His Kingdom daily!
Today, the Holy Spirit continues, as Jesus did then, with analogies that stretch our imagination and bring fresh understandings of the work God initiates in our lives. John 3:3-21 sheds light on how the Holy Spirit works in believers as well as in those soon to become believers, today. Think about it!