Re-Birth

Before I introduce this coming Sunday’s (3/13) scripture passage, I’d like to make a couple of comments on the chapter in between last Sunday and this Sunday (John 2).  The first section, John 2:1-11 describes Jesus being called upon to do some thing about the shortage of wine at a wedding feast.  What amazed me is not only that Jesus has the power to transform water to wine, but the faith of these individuals who drew the water from the new filled jars and gave to the master of the banquet (vs 8-9).  Did they think they were giving him water?  Or did they have faith that Jesus did something miraculous?  May we have faith in the Lord’s directions that when we do something ordinary, God’s extraordinary work takes us by surprise.  The second section, John 2:12-25, Jesus does something that we’d be arrested for disturbing the peace.  John implies the Jesus has special authority to do what he did and it’s wrapped up in Him being God’s on and only Son.  May the Lord turn over any tables in us that are not fit for godly living.  He does have the authority to do that, don’t you think?

This coming Sunday we will look at a conversation between a member of a religious council and Jesus which took place at night (John 3:1-21).  Imagine, being so scared of public opinion that Nicodemus had to keep this meeting quiet.  Though here, he asks some very important questions about not understanding re-birth or new life in the Spirit.  Take a look at his questions and how does Jesus answer his misconceptions?  What truths does John want us to know?

Of all the messages in the coming weeks, this Sunday and next Sunday (John 4) could change your life.

One thought on “Re-Birth

  1. We can look at John 3:16 and sometimes say think “That is the everything I need to know” and forget about John 3:17… or John 3:3… or the art and life of conversation… or the greater plan that God has in store which makes Jesus the secret ingredient.

    The conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus in John 3:1-21 reveals greater truths, greater challenges, and the greatest remedy.

    What becomes clear in this conversation is the REVELATION of TWO REALITIES. The Earthly Reality is experienced by all human beings. We are born of water (amniotic fluid), have a fleshly existence, born into a heritage, accomplished and grew in skills, care about prestige (appearances), experienced trouble and despair, observe traditions and comforts, and imagine/fantasize a future that may/may not be built on truth.

    Nicodemus is all of this; of course born, focused on earthly things, a Pharisee, accomplished and rose to the prestigious honor of being part of a ruling counsel of the Sanhedrin. He has a earthly perspective on the Hebrew Scriptures and holds earthly traditions. He can only see Jesus as another colleague (fellow rabbi).

    Jesus, however, reveals a Godly Reality to a world that bare remembers that at one time God resided with humanity. Because of the choice of Adam and Eve, God bans them (and all their descendants… meaning us) from this reality. God distances Himself in order that the world may learn a death focused reality without God (we try to accomplish all we can before we die). However, God has always been working a plan that prepares, at just the right time, the opportunity to receive this godly reality, or kingdom. Because God the Creator did the banning, it will only take an act of God to do the “re-birthing.”

    Jesus is all of this; God wrapped in flesh, dwelling among us (cf John 1:14). The TWO INDIVIDUALS in this conversation come from TWO DIFFERENT REALITIES. Both have been earthly birthed, but only one of them has been in the presence of God, from the very beginning of all existence. Nicodemus stand in Earthly reality. Jesus stands, though on earth, in a Godly reality.

    Nicodemus thinks they are two rabbis talking shop. Jesus challenges him by asking a question that challenges his prestige and accomplishments: If he is a teacher of Israel, why does it amaze him that “Y’all must be born again?” (vs 6-7)

    Jesus clear states you must have a second birth: “You must be born of water and the Spirit to see and enter the Kingdom of God” (vs 3 & 5). Jesus came to offer that: 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a will, but born of God. (John 1:12-13)

    Sinful, mere earthly, living has been killing us. Jesus, the Son of God, offers not condemnation (we are already condemned by if we hold to our earthly reality) but eternal abundant life.

    THE CHALLENGE of LIVING GOD’s REALITY is that we not only live in the darkness, but love the darkness. Nicodemus loves what he has accomplished in this world, so he comes at night. We hate to admit we are wrong, much less expose to the world we have lived in a wrong way. But those who decide to live by the truth of Jesus, and the Godly reality He offers, will find a re-birth that is done by the power of God (vs21) If Nicodemus had truly understood what Jesus was sharing he would have remembers (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

    HOW CAN YOU BE RE-BORN
    Acknowledge who Jesus is – not just a teacher, or even a friend, but the only one who has come from God and is God. He can and should never just be an acquaintance.

    Confess that this Earthly Reality without God is empty (we can only see to our death). Jesus offers us view, enterance, and eternal life with God’s kingdom. John would write in one of his letters: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NIV) God is faithful and just!

    Surrender to God’s Work of Re-birth in your life. Re-birth is not your decision, but availing yourself of God’s act of new birth upon and in you. It is totally of God. You might experience it merely after a heartfelt prayer, or it might take some time of working and trusting in God’s ways. I look over my life and at age 12 I accepted Jesus as my savior and was baptized. I believe the Holy Spirit was conceived in me, but I was re-born under n starry sky in Groton Massachusetts six years later. It was then I knew I could never go back to an Earthly reality!

    Trust in Jesus’ words: “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” (John 3:5, NIV) and ask Him to do the work in you.

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