Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, â€œRabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him. â€œ
In reply Jesus declared, â€œI tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.â€ John 3:1-3 (NIV)
God has been speaking to me with such love and the words have been coming around and about John 3:16. This story is the set up for Jesusâ€™ pronouncement of how much God loves.
Nicodemus, a ruler in the Jewish community, comes with questions. He comes at night. He comes to Jesus. He might be nervous. He says, â€œJesus we (the learned rulers) have seen what you do.â€ A little flattery? Jesus does not respond in kind to that because those credentials mean nothing in Godâ€™s world. Jesus responds with what is important and what Nicodemus was really there to ask! Jesus tells Nicodemus that his best wonâ€™t get him eternal life. That is a shocking truth to a Jew. He has spent his life trying to learn what God expected of him and wants so much to be a â€˜goodâ€™ Jew. Jesus tells him â€“ that wonâ€™t get it!
Have you ever wanted a â€˜do overâ€™? A mulligan? For those who do not play golf, a mulligan is an opportunity to do a stroke over. If you tee off and send the ball careening off into the trees instead of straight down the fairwayâ€¦you exercise your mulligan and hit another ball just like the first one never happened! Jesus tells Nicodemus that he can have a â€˜mulliganâ€™ on his life. He can be â€˜born againâ€™!
Nicodemus may have left Jesus that night still questioning. Sometimes we just donâ€™t â€œget itâ€ on Jesusâ€™ first illustration as He teaches us Godâ€™s truths. Thatâ€™s when we keep listening and watching. Keep questioning. Nicodemus may have walked away that night with questions in his mind but later (John 19:39) he was still there, watching and listening. And maybe, just maybe, as he went about Jesusâ€™ burial ritual, he had a light of hope in his heart. He was going to continue to watchâ€¦And then he heard the news. Jesusâ€™ tomb where he, Nicodemus, had seen Jesus laid â€“ was EMPTY! Who would have thought that Jesus would give another illustration of His â€œborn againâ€ principle â€“ Himself â€“ in resurrection power â€“ Yes! You can be born again!
God loved us and sent His Son so that we would not perish but have eternal life! Choose Jesus â€“ be born again â€“ and live eternally with God. Even if you â€œget itâ€ â€“ keep watching. Keep listening. Keep reading. Jesus isnâ€™t done with His teaching.