Jesus said to Nicodemus – You must be born again
This is one of the most often quoted verses in the Bible. And rightly so! Jesus wanted Nicodemus, and all of us, to know who we are as children of God and where we come.
Being “born again” is about discovering our spiritual origin, not about somehow getting back into your mother’s womb and being born again literally, like Nicodemus thought.
What it means to be born again
The phrase “born again” means several things. The Greek word for “again” can mean
- from the beginning
- again, repeated
- from above, from God, heaven
Unfortunately, no English word conveys all those meanings. And even Nicodemus did not understand the depth of what Jesus was getting at. Jesus wants us to understand that God is the source of our birth.
What if you could go back in time and “from the beginning” (see #1 above) the love of God and the Spirit re-birthed you at every point in your life? To be born again is to be completely purified and transformed by God’s love and grace.
And that begs the question..
Is being born again a one time event?
Some people believe strongly that it is and others believe it’s a life-long process. But maybe that’s not so important as the fact that it happens at all. And once it does, you can’t stop there. You need to continue to follow Jesus in your everyday life.
It’s like the sunrise. Sure, the sunrise itself takes just a few minutes, but once the sun pops above the horizon, it doesn’t just sit there the rest of the day. It continues its journey across the sky until it sets.
And the next day, the sun goes through the exact same process. What if being born again is like the sunrise? What if every day we feel reborn in the Spirit? What if every day we experience a the purifying presence of God’s love and grace in our lives?
- The series about Jesus directed by Dallas Jenkins: TheChosen.tv
- 21 Ways to Obey Christ in 2021, Episode 65
Thanks for listening. As always, I would love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments. And let me know your thoughts about being born again in the comment section all the way at the bottom of this page.
And please share this with a friend who would appreciate the message.
Have a great week!
Bible references in this episode
John 3:1-12 ESV
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you [singular], unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you [singular], unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You [plural] must be born again.’
8 The wind [pneuma] blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit [pneuma].”
9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”
10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?
11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you [plural] do not receive our testimony.
12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? [all four yous in this verse are plural]
Genesis 1:27 ESV
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Romans 8:16, 17 ESV
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,
Luke 6:44 ESV
44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.
John 13:35 ESV
35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Matthew 5:16 ESV
16 let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.