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40 Days of Hope
Thursday, April 18
You Must Be Born Again
John’s Gospel opens with the amazing prologue that beautifully expresses the profound miracle of the Incarnation. The Word became flesh and lived among us. John declared that the eyewitnesses to the Incarnation of Christ beheld His glory – the glory of the one and only Son of God.
Nicodemus was a respected teacher of Israel. He was a genuine scholar and a man interested in truth. He sought out Jesus to engage Him in a deep theological conversation. That encounter is recorded for us here in John 3. Again, this is one of those stories unique to John’s Gospel.
The conversation took an unexpected turn. Jesus moved quickly past Nicodemus’ questions in order to teach him an unforgettable lesson. The Kingdom of God was right in front of Nicodemus. It was embodied in the very Person of Jesus. In order to claim the Kingdom, Nicodemus needed to put his faith in Jesus.
Jesus employed the imagery of the new birth to explain the miraculous nature of the transformation He would offer humanity. It is such a wholesale change in a person’s character that it is like being born anew. This spiritual birth is a requirement for all who desire to experience the fullness of the life Jesus offers.
Initially, Nicodemus was confused. However, he remained intrigued by the teaching of Jesus. In fact, later in this Gospel, he will appear with Joseph of Arimathea to claim the body of Jesus from the cross.
In this memorable encounter, we learn that new birth is possible for all of us. Indeed, this is why Jesus came in the first place. John explains the miracle of the Incarnation in his opening prologue --- here he explains why it happened. God loves us so much that He sent His Son to give us life! When we are born again, our life really begins. The journey of physical life begins for us at birth. The journey of eternal life begins at our new birth.
On Easter Sunday, we will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We make that celebration personal when we put our faith in Him and experience the new birth He promised. This is why He came. He came so that we might live forever!
When were you born again? Can you describe that experience today?