Born of the Spirit
Read John 3:1–15
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 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 replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“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!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 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.”
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 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. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
- How do you understand Jesus’ teaching to Nicodemus about needing to be born again? Why do you think He used the imagery of birth?
- Reflect on the hurts, mistakes, and difficult circumstances you have experienced over the course of your life. How has your faith in Jesus given you a new start regarding whatever came to mind?
- As you read this passage again, ask God to bring someone to mind who is longing for new birth and an opportunity for a new start, whether they know it or not. What do you sense God inviting you to say to or do for that person?
Father, thank You for a new start, a new birth in and through Jesus. I long to be refreshed and renewed by Your Holy Spirit. Open my eyes to all You have already done in me and help me to hear what more You’re inviting me into in this new life. Give me the courage to share the beauty and goodness of the life You offer with the people in my life who are struggling and longing for more. Amen.
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