Our scripture this week is John 3:1-17.
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Jesus tells us “You must be born again” (v. 7) to teach us the level of change in our lives needed in order to become the people God intends us to be. There is no alternative method, no backup plan. If we truly desire to be the children of God, we must allow the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us to bring about this change.
In scripture we hear of many who are touched by Jesus and instantly accept the call He places on their lives. Others, such as the Pharisee Nicodemus in this lesson, take a bit longer. It is up to each of us to choose this spiritual rebirth Jesus offers us.
Listen for the invitation Jesus gives you. Feel the Spirit move you to new acceptance of the role you have to play in God’s creation. Be born again through this love and go to share it with all our brothers and sisters.
Gracious God, we are often insensitive to the message You send, resisting the movement of the Spirit and the tasks You have for us. Help us to be born again through Your love that we may be the children You intend us to be. Amen.