What Do You Mean? (Part 1)
06 July 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 3:3-8 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” 4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” 5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 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.” (John 3:3–8 NLT)
Nicodemus believed in the Kingdom of God, and he was hungry, willing, and eager for the Kingdom of God to show up. You see, the problem for Nicodemus, for Jesus’ full-time disciples, and for pretty much all the other Jews who wanted God’s Reign to begin on earth (Your Kingdom come your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven), is that Nick figured it was going to arrive in a big splash, like a shake the ground split the sky kind of splash! They thought it would take a war to obliterate Rome’s power, or a King who declared himself Emperor of the World and zapped all his opponents with laser beams from his eyes. Or something.
And Nick also hoped passionately that it would happen in his lifetime, but the clock was ticking and he was an old guy and if it wasn’t Jesus, then they were back to square one. And like all the other Jews, he expected it to be for people who were already born Jews. So when Jesus talked about being born twice, once to get into the world, and a second time to get into God’s Kingdom, his computer just locked up and needed a hard reset.
Jesus said, “Humans produce human life, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit life.” And Nick thought about how big he was and how much he weighed, and how small his Mom was, and said, “That’s never gonna work!” Jesus tried to help him there, “Nick, the wind blows and you can hear and feel it, but you don’t know how it works. Neither can you explain how people are born of the Spirit. You believe it, you experience it, but you can’t really explain it.” That’s why it’s called faith, friends! God always fulfills his promises, but seldom our expectations!
Father, I’m so thankful for your patience with me as, like Nick, I try so hard to understand how everything works. I believe! By faith, I receive. Like a child! Amen.