4 Jan. John 3:1-7

4 Jan. Jewish council member told to be "born again"

"There was a man named Nicodemus who was one of the Pharisees and an important Jewish leader. One night Nicodemus came to Jesus and said, 'Rabbi, we know you are a teacher sent by God, because no one can do the miracles you do unless God is with him.'"

"Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth. Unless one is born again, he cannot be in God's kingdom'. Nicodemus said, 'But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? He cannot enter his mother's body again. So how can a person be born a second time?'"

"Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth. Unless one is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter God's kingdom. Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit. Don't be surprised when I tell you, 'You must all be born again.'"

          (John 3:1-7)



After spending some time in Capernaum, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival in the spring of 27AD. He performed many miracles and many people believed in him.

While Jesus was in Jerusalem, one of the members of the Jewish council (the Sanhedrin) – who was impressed by the miracles Jesus was performing – came to see Jesus secretly under cover of darkness. Jesus told Nicodemus, “Unless one is born again, he cannot be in God’s kingdom” (John 3:3).

Jesus pointed out that he was referring to spiritual re-birth, not physical re-birth. To enter the kingdom of God - where God is the king ruling all your actions, Jesus explained, people must have a powerful new experience of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Being "born again", with the Holy Spirit enlivening every part of our lives, is not an 'optional extra' for Christians. Jesus makes it quite clear that no one can enter God's kingdom "unless one is born from water and the Spirit" - a clear reference to baptism in water as an outward SIGN of new life, and baptism (literally 'being drenched or filled to overflowing') with the Holy Spirit as the indwelling POWER generating and guiding that new life.

Some time back we attended an adult baptism in a church in London. There was NO mention of the Holy Spirit throughout the service, and no evidence of anyone who was baptised in water being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. We left feeling they'd lost the plot, They'd forgotten Jesus's words to Nicodemus.

The photo shows a 4th century baptismal font at Hagia Maria ('St. Mary's') Church, Ephesus.

You can read more about Nicodemus on The Bible Journey website @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/the-bible-journey/4-jesuss-journeys-around-galilee33795/jesus-travels-to-jerusalem/

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