Reading over John 3, where Nicodemus speaks with Jesus, it’s almost comical to see the lack of understanding that Nicodemus had. Jesus said a man must be born again and Nicodemus, a teacher, responds with “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born again!” And then after Jesus explains it, he again asks “How?”
This idea, as well as many many others in Scripture, seem so easy to interpret. But we also have a couple thousand years of study to work with. Nicodemus was hearing this concept for the first time. He had nothing to work with.
But I wonder, are we as impacted by this as Nicodemus was? We understand the basic principle, but have we taken it to heart? I fear we haven’t. I fear we’ve instead written it off as just another thing we understand, without giving it much thought.
Being born again.
It’s not some cheap cliche. Jesus didn’t use those. And it’s not some empty philosophy, Jesus didn’t use that either. No, what we have here is something of great significance. Something more significant than whatever you’re likely going to do when you finish reading this post. More significant by far than this post could hope to be. This was Jesus saying that a man must no longer be who he is. And not only that, the man must now be someone new. And at the same time, he will still be himself. Now it doesn’t sound so cliche, does it? Wording it that way makes us think, at least a bit more.
A man by the name of Rich Mullins once cried out to God from the depths of his heart…
“Save me from trendy religion that makes
Cheap cliches out of timeless truths!
Lord save me! Please, save me!”
May we be saved from trendy religion. May we read the Holy Writ with a childlike wonder. May we gaze upon the face of God clearly, without the vail of self-righteous piety that keeps us from recognizing just how small we are, and just how much we need every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Have you been born again?