Friday, February 22, 2008

New Born

There is something beautiful and innocent about children isn’t there? Why is it we can just watch two children interact and not say a word, but just listen and watch? I lived with and became very close to a family this past year and watched both of their children grow up from infants to toddlers with independent personalities and thoughts. I am a goof ball so I am dramatic in what I do and say, for instance, take the word yes, I say YE-YA instead, it just makes me happy. So now if you could imagine a 2 year old running around the house answering questions with “ye-ya,” you would get a brief picture of the little girl being influenced by me, her uncle Adam. As I look back even at my own short life, I am only the way I am because of the things that have helped to shape me, circumstances, people, getting hurt, family, friends, school, etc. I was born into this world and everything within it shaped me into who I am. That itself is a simple thought. Birth is simple, however, rebirth is not as easy to wrap your mind around and many, like Nicodemus, come across the dilemma of understanding rebirth.

I think I can understand where Nicodemus was coming from when he emphatically asked Jesus, “How can anyone be born when they are old? Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” So, I think people need more of a response than, “Just believe.” Really? Is that why you follow Jesus? One day you decided that you would just believe with no explanation? I say NO ONE follows Jesus without some kind of experience of Him and then from there, their life changed. So, when people ask what being saved looks like, or how is one reborn, we should be slow to think that this concept is easy.

Jesus explained it this way to Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit (John 3:5-8, TNIV)."

What does wind have to do with anything? Jesus uses a practical example to teach a hard truth to a very religious man. Nicodemus was a Pharisee who came by night to see Jesus. It is mentioned that Nicodemus came by night 2 other times as well in the Gospel of John (any time something is repeated in the bible, pay attention, it is important). So Jesus is telling this man who he knows has intellectual knowledge of the Law and God, but isn’t living the life God created us to live by following Him in the Law. Jesus came to offer freedom outside of the religious system the Pharisees had created. Nicodemus did not understand what being reborn meant. Jesus was basically telling Nicodemus that being reborn is from above and that once a person is reborn their world changes, everything they do is different. A child does not choose when they come into the world, the mother’s body does, the child essentially has no control over when it is born. A child from London and a child from North Queens right? The reason they are different is because of the influences they have in their life, what they were born into. The world we are born into shapes us right? So Jesus is saying that once you have this spiritually initiated rebirth experience you will become a different child because your world has changed, because now it is of the Spirit. I guess this the best way I can explain it and make sense of it in my head. The reality is that I can not truly grasp it, but can tell if I am reborn by my actions, by how I love, forgive, live, speak, think, etc., like the wind…

2 comments:

  1. This is great. I love it(was it inspired?). would you pliz send the message to me?(ke.jacob@gmail.com) I can pass it to my brothers, esp one affected by violence here in kenya. thanks

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  2. Jacob, hey man, thanks for your comment, there is no specific message you can listen to the message from my church at indymetro.org from last week by Dan Pride. I'm personally convicted to pray for CHristians who are actually having to live the narrow path (we are fortunate to be in America)so you are prayed for, be encouraged, feel free to keep in touch. Thanks again for your post.

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