The verse of the day is John 3:7. Do not be amazed that I say to you, “You must be born again.”
The weary sun sunk behind the hills of Judea leaving the city of Jerusalem in darkness. Only those who had not succumbed to exhausted slumber may have seen the one small pinpoint of light as it moved quickly along the back streets of the town. A cloaked figure cautiously made his way through the winding passages looking for the place where he believed he could find the controversial rabbi. He had heard this man speak and had seen him do miraculous signs, but there were so many questions that needed to be answered. Something was different about him, yet the city’s other religious leaders were adamantly opposed to his methods. They, in their jealousy and pride, could not seem to acknowledge the authority with which this man spoke and taught. By going to him personally to find out the truth, Nicodemus, himself a Pharisee, risked his standing and reputation with the rest of the leaders. But the questions burned in his heart screaming for answers and so he waited until night fell to make his visit.
Upon reaching the teacher’s lodging, Nicodemus greeted him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus, understanding the unspoken turmoil in his heart, reversed the flow of the discussion from His own identity to Nicodemus’ own standing before God. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus misunderstood these strange words, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus went on to explain patiently that this was a new kind of birth – a spiritual birth. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
The only way to enter into the physical world is through physical birth and the only way to enter into the kingdom of God is by spiritual birth. No one can see God’s kingdom by any other way than being born from above, and it is the Spirit of God that does this work in a person’s life.
John 3 does not tell us the final result of Nicodemus’ search, but later passages show changes in his life. In John 7 he openly defends Jesus during a division in the crowd by stating the law concerning His arrest. Then in chapter 19 he participated with Joseph of Arimathea in taking the body of Christ from the cross and preparing it for burial.
Do you long for someone to see the kingdom of God? Then don’t give up. The Spirit of God does His work in ways we cannot understand. Jesus knew the heart of Nicodemus and how to answer him. He knows your heart and the hearts of your loved ones just as intimately. Keep praying! Keep trusting! There may be another birth just around the corner.