Read John 3:1-15

v 3   Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

This is one of the most intriguing conversations recorded in the Bible – with only two people present it would seem, Jesus and Nicodemus. We shall read more about Nicodemus, and how his faith might have developed in the coming week, but I can imagine him retelling this story to the disciples as he walked the Christian way in later years.

Nicodemus was a leader among the Jews and you can understand his reluctance to engage in broad daylight with Jesus in such a public fashion. The other leaders are portrayed as antagonistic towards Jesus, but Nicodemus wanted to get around this public perception and discover more for himself. So the conversation begins with a formal recognition; ‘we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you. ‘ (v 2). So far, so ordinary, then WHAM, Jesus’ reply comes like a bolt out of the blue! He introduces a radically new concept into a religious conversation. He is not speaking about greater wisdom or special knowledge, or even about learning to live differently. No, Jesus is much more radical with Nicodemus; He is saying that to get some idea about God’s Kingdom rule you have actually got to go back to square one and see things differently. It is more even than a changed perspective on life; it is being born again into a new life.

Becoming a Jesus-follower, a Christian, is as radical as that. Nicodemus was looking at Jesus as a possible Messiah through the eyes of a well-educated Jew. That would have raised all sorts of questions for him about the prophecies and traditions of the Old Testament. Rather than trying to explain about such things, Jesus tells him, you have got to start all over again. A new birth brings new eyes and a proper perception of God’s Kingdom rule.

Monday 19th September. Daily Notes from The Hub