BEING BORN AGAIN – John 3:1-17
During the ministry of Jesus, the Pharisees were the people who found it very hard to understand the message and the ministry of Jesus. Pharisees were the leaders who ensure that the Rabbis teach the law in the traditional manner. Jesus was not teaching in the traditional manner. Nicodemus who himself a Pharisee comes looking for Jesus very secretly in the night with some queries.
Jesus tells Nicodemus, ‘no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above’. Nicodemus who is a Pharisee and a teacher is perplexed by Jesus’ teaching that one should be re born. So he asks, after growing old how it is possible to experience rebirth.
Rebirth is to be born from above. Rebirth is such a wonderful concept. This could very well denote marking a new beginning. This would imply redefining oneself as a child of God and begin to look at life and to relate to God in a totally new perspective. Jesus tells Nicodemus that to be born from above is to have the experience of being born of water and Spirit. The practice and understanding of Baptism in the Church emerged out of this teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism marks the journey of faith an experience of being born from above.
John concludes this section by stating that Jesus came into the world not to condemn people for their sin but he came to offer new life that in Jesus we are assured forgiveness of our sins and believing in him we find eternal life.
God does not delight in condemning the world or in punishing people but rather saving people from the bondage of sin and the consequences of sin which is death.
Therefore anyone and everyone who believes in Jesus may not perish but have eternal life.
Believing in Jesus is eternal life. Believing that he bore the condemnation that is due to the world on himself to let us be free of condemnation.
Believing in Jesus makes us a new creation, makes us subject to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Believing in Jesus is to liberate oneself from the passions of the flesh and surrender to be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
This lent as we look to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray, help me with my unbelief and help me believe in you and let me be guided by the Holy Spirit.