Sometimes we focus so much on the complex that we miss the simple principles that God is trying show us.
A lot of it comes down to our human logic that we ever so tightly cling to. We think and rethink our church based methods and systems. Yet, God continues to work in the supernatural realm, many times defying our logic at every turn.
I think that’s what was going on in John 3, when Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus. If you’re not familiar with the account, see below.
“There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked. Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things?”” (John 3:1-10)
Nicodemus was well versed in religious ways. As Jesus said, he was “a respected Jewish teacher” who knew the ins and outs of God’s law, and what needed to be done to be spiritual. He was a logical man who knew the methods and systems of his day and his culture.
We would be wise to read John 3 as if Jesus was speaking to us instead of Nicodemus. In our churches and ministries, we need to remember that it’s not so much about buildings and bylaws. Instead, it’s about the non-physical transformation that needs to take place within our individual lives and corporately.
Church stuff is great and for the most part helpful, but only if we have all experienced the rebirth that Nicodemus struggled to understand.
How has rebirth, both as an experience and a teaching changed how you see life and ministry?