The verses set for today’s reading and meditation (John 3:1-15), are very well known to the followers of Jesus – from the Gospel of John, Chapter 3, verses 1 to 21, New Living Translation – I’ve added additional verses, up to and including verse 21, for obvious reasons):
“There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.
So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
This blog now, gets a number of hits from people asking the question: ‘How do I follow Jesus?’ The journey starts with being born again – as described by the above verses. Just as an aside – note the words: “the Son of Man has come down from heaven’, it’s important to understand that Jesus is not talking as a messenger from God – that is, only as a human being or an angel or some other form of created being. He is the one and only, God – and therefore His words are life – there is no other way to be saved.
As Selwyn writes in today’s study: “I pose this question: How do I enter into a relationship with God and become part of His eternal epic? You enter into a relationship with God through His Son Jesus by being what the Bible calls ‘born again’. … If you have not been born again, I invite you now to open your heart to God and His Son Jesus Christ. Say the following prayer, (with an open and accepting heart):
“Heavenly Father, I want to be part of Your story. I come to You now to be born again. I surrender everything to You – my whole life, my heart … everything. Accept me and make me Your child. In Jesus’ name I pray.”