Living God’s Word
John 3:1-15 Today we have New Life in Christ
1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” k
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. r 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, t 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” v
Living God’s Word:
Most people, at one time or another, wish they could start life over again. But second thoughts usually bring us to the conclusion that another trip through life would involve just as many opportunities for mistakes as the first time. Nicodemus saw only complications and impossibilities in Jesus’ challenge. But Jesus later made the point in discussing the possibility of salvation with his disciples that “with man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27 niv). The only way a person can really start over in life is by being born from above—“born again” by receiving God’s eternal life and the regenerating Holy Spirit. Starting over may be naturally impossible; but Jesus makes it a supernatural possibility.
Making it REAL:
Do you sometimes feel like you need a fresh start? Wake up each day renewed in Baptism. Yesterday has passed, today is a new beginning. How can you better experience God’s renewal in your life, today?
Words to Live By:
Nicodemus, though “the teacher of Israel,” shows that he cannot comprehend the Spirit’s miraculous work of new birth through Baptism. Human reason, darkened by sin, cannot accept that God can grant spiritual rebirth through ordinary water used with His Word. But such a great promise has come from none other than the Son of Man, lifted up on the cross for our salvation!
Holy Spirit, I praise You that You have given me new birth to a living hope through Christ’s resurrection. Help me live today in the newness that only comes through Jesus who gave his life for me. Lead me to the cross when I find myself drifting from you. Thank you for the gift of new life received through the waters of Holy Baptism. Amen