3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
Today’s verse is the first time Nicodemus, a Pharisee, is mentioned in the Gospel of John. Nicodemus couldn’t deny the signs Jesus performed as coming from God. Thus acknowledging Jesus deity.
v. 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.”
Jesus then digs deeper – by stating it’s not just what can be seen visibly, it’s what happens within us. “no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” “no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
One of the warnings Jesus made against the Pharisees was their hypocritical attitude. In Matthew 23:5 Jesus words about Pharisees says: “Everything they do is done for people to see(…)”. It’s about appearance and outward signs and attitudes.
Perhaps, in a way to address that, Jesus stirs Nicodemus to think inwardly. Being born again, to receive a new spiritual life that changes us from inside out, is a pre-condition to see the kingdom of God. It’s in this conversation with Nicodemus that Jesus mentions John’s words:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“Do you see what the good news is? No matter how good you are. No matter how pulled together you are. You must be born again. But it also would mean, no matter how messed up you are, no matter how broken you are, you can be born again.” – Tim Keller
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.