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John’s gospel Post 21: Born again!

September 19, 2013

“I wish there was a way to start again, just blink and count to 10, the land of beginning again” – Neal Morse – The Land of Beginning Again (from the album “Testimony”)

John 3: 3 & 4

Now  we have seen already that Jesus doesn’t waste his words. He likes to get straight to the point.

There is no suggestion that Jesus thanked Nicodemus for his kind words. We have already read that Jesus was not someone who depended on the approval of people. It could have been good for him though to have such a pillar of religious society among his followers.

Jesus says nothing about his teaching or his miracles. He moves straight on to talking about God’s kingdom. The place where God rules. Where what God wants goes. No one can even see the kingdom of God unless something has happened to them first. You gotta be born again.

Born again. Now there’s a generally unpopular phrase. Perhaps associated with particular American Christians of a particular time. When people used to talk about born again Christians, it rarely seemed to be regarded positively. It has often been seen as a cliche.

But Jesus invented the phrase. Fair to say he only said it once. But a born again Christian is not a new concept. Indeed if someone asks if you are a born again Christian, the question might be what other kind of Christian is there? Jesus doesn’t claim any special status for the reborn. As far as he is concerned this is non-negotiable. The only way to see God’s kingdom is to be born again.

That Nicodemus is what you need to hear. Much as people may ridicule the label nowadays, Nicodemus laughed at the very concept. How can an old man be born again? How can we start again? Bizarrely how can I enter my mother’s womb again (unpleasant thought in the extreme (for mother and child!)?

It seems this new birth was no more easy to understand then than it is now.

Expect Jesus to make it all clear next time. What I have read so far though encourages me to expect the unexpected!

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From → Christianity

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