“In the early part of John’s gospel,” Stan began, “there’s the account of a Jewish leader named Nicodemus who went to visit Jesus one night.”
“Why did he go in the night, rather than during the day?” I asked.
“Not sure,” Stan replied. “Maybe he was busy during the day. Maybe he didn’t want to be seen talking with Jesus. I don’t know for certain. But the main point is that he went to see Jesus.”
“Why did he do that?” I asked.
“It says,” Stan replied, “that he went to tell Jesus that ‘we’, and it doesn’t say who ‘we’ included, that ‘we’ know that He came from God as a teacher.”
“Does it say how Nicodemus knew that?” I responded.
“It does,” Stan said. “Because of all the things Jesus did. Nicodemus said that because of what Jesus did, he knew that Jesus came from God.”
“How did Jesus respond to that?” I asked.
“Jesus told Nicodemus,” Stan said, “that it was time for Nicodemus to do something. In essence, Jesus said, ‘Okay, you have seen me do things, now it’s your turn to do something’.”
“What did Jesus expect Nicodemus to do?” I asked.
“Be born again,” Stan responded. “Jesus told Nicodemus that he could not see the kingdom of God unless he was born again.”
Continuing, he said, “Same with me. God made it real clear to me by saying, ‘Stan, you want to see the kingdom of God? Here is what you have to do, be born again’.”
“Did Jesus tell him how to do that?” I asked.
“He did.” Stan replied.”It’s a big subject, big enough to last a lifetime, but the point is that it has to start with accepting the free gift of salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, as well as being filled with the Holy Spirit. That is the re-birth. That is being born again.”
“That’s the beginning,” Stan concluded, “that gives the assurance of spending eternity with God when it is time to step into eternity. And it’s the beginning of seeing and entering into the kingdom of God on this side of eternity, the process of going from conversion to transformation.”
“Big subject to be taken one bite at a time. One step at a time down the path towards spiritual maturity. But it begins with the first step of taking the turn of doing the essential something of being born again.”
Jesus answered and said to him (Nicodemus), “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of a new birth through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Thank you, too, that you sent the Holy Spirit to live in me as part of the rebirth that came from my acceptance of your free gift of salvation. Thank you that I have the assurance of spending eternity with you when it is time. Thank you, too, that through the re-birth, I can see your kingdom on this side of eternity as I walk the path towards transformation that started with my re-birth. I confess that too often I do not continue walking that path because I choose to walk elsewhere, apart from you. Please forgive me. And please, Father, help me in following your lead so that I will see all of your kingdom that you have for me to see. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about: What does being born again look like to you in the sense of what does it mean to you for the time you have remaining on this side of eternity?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.