There is more than what you see
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.”
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. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” John 3:1-15
Nicodemus was intrigued by the man who could turn water into wine and heal the sick and the blind. He must visit Jesus under the cover of darkness. Nicodemus is a Pharisee, a Jewish religious leader, and would likely be persecuted for his belief and interest in Jesus.
Nicodemus recognizes that God is very much with Jesus, but he did not see or believe who Jesus was in full. This Jesus wasn’t just a teacher sent from God, but the Son of God, the Savior of the world, love incarnate. Consider Nicodemus’s words in verse 2; he tells Jesus he believes he’s God-sent and then tells him why he believes this: “No one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
Jesus then responds, saying that nobody can see or experience the Kingdom of God unless they are born again. Nicodemus recognizes the miraculous signs of Jesus, but he would have to make a decision. Would he continue to sneak Jesus into his life in the shadows of the night for the sake of his reputation and position, or would he choose to be born again, transformed and devoted to Jesus?
Being born of the Spirit is not a physical re-birth. It is our birth into the family of Christ, that we may be called children of God. It’s something we cannot see, but that we believe and are confident in as we live in relationship with Christ on earth. I see Jesus giving us two choices: Know about me or know me. If we choose the first, we reject who He really is as our Father and Savior. If we choose to truly know Jesus and are born again we receive the Holy Spirit and live a devoted life to Him until we are promoted to Heaven on the day of our bodily death.
What is Jesus worth to you? Will you choose to know about Him or know Him? Will you shift your faith from the things of this world to the things unseen?
Father, may we be a people who believe in you whole-heartedly. Help me to believe in you, even when I cannot see or make sense of what I see around me. Grow my understanding of who you are and how great your love truly is; speak to me and help me develop a deeper relationship with you. Holy Spirit, I welcome you into my heart and ask to be born again and made into a new creation. I dedicate myself to you. Every day, help me to be all-in for you, obedient, and boldly living a set-apart life for the Kingdom of God. In Jesus’s precious and beloved name, Amen. Abigail Lineberry
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