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John’s gospel post 22: the Knowledge

September 20, 2013

John 3: 5 – 13

The conversation continues. To even see the Kingdom of God you need to be born again. But to be born in this way entitles entry to that kingdom.

There are two ways to enter the kingdom. Firstly you need to be born of water. In other words you’ve got to be alive! Makes perfect sense eh? But that’s not enough. There’s another birth – by the Spirit. Born twice. That simple. And as Jesus says Nicodemus shouldn’t be surprised by this. Flesh gives birth flesh. Spirit to spirit.

Jesus should of course now explain the formula. How can I be born again? What have I got to do? Instead he gets rather mysterious and starts talking about the wind. The wind blows where it will. You can’t control it. You can hear it and you can see its effects. So it is with being born of the Spirit. That too cannot be controlled. We can’t decide who will be born again or how it will happen. That is the work of God’s Holy Spirit.

Nic still doesn’t get it. How can this be? Jesus challenges him as a leader and teacher of God’s people that he doesn’t understand such things.

Jesus says that he is qualified to talk about this stuff. He is God. He has seen it all and how it works. He says “we” presumably joining God the Father and God the Spirit into the scene. In other words he says “you will never have anyone better qualified to tell you how things work, but people still don’t believe what they are hearing from me!” Echoes of those in chapter 1 who didn’t recognise the one who had made them.

“If you can’t understand about the earthly things – birth – wind – then how can you understand the spiritual stuff – the things of heaven? No one has been into heaven except me – the Son of Man”.

Struggling to make sense of life? Then Jesus tells us he is the one qualified to teach us, to lead us through. We need to listen to him. You can listen to all sorts of other voices but they can never measure up to Jesus. Like Nicodemus, find some time to ask him the questions.

 

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