I don’t like the term “born again.” Let’s be honest, the term does not attract people. It could be my upbringing in the South where we often heard preachers talking about being, “boownn agane!” To a born again Christian is not something that neighbors and others look highly upon. In fact, more often than not, it’s a term that folks use to label people.
The general consensus from others is there are two types of people who end up being born again: 1. People who need a deep emotional experience in order to experience God or 2. People who need to follow a tight moral structure in order to make sure that they will one day get into Heaven. So if we don’t fit into one of those two categories, we can easily think that we don’t need to be born again. In fact, we secretly hope that we will never be labeled as a born again Christian, because the opinion is that a born again Christian is emotionally weak, needs a crutch, isn’t smart enough to realize that life is just happenstance, so they need something to cling to.
Jesus totally blows the doors off of this type of thinking, and says in John 3:3″unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven.”
In order to underst Jesus’ statement, we have to look at who is asking this question of Jesus. Nicodemus is his name. What we know about him is that he is a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews (an important man), he is rich, learned, and he is not in need of anything spiritually (according to himself).
What we also know is that he goes at night to Jesus. And listen to the first thing out of his mouth:
v.2 “Rabbi, we know that you have come from God as a teacher”
He does not say, Rabbi, I know u are a teacher, he says, WE know. In other words, “Most of us, my people, don’t want anything to do with you, but there are a few of us who are in on you. He is not spiritual seeking, he has just come to do some backroom politicking to make sure that he is one day going to get into Heaven. And Jesus says, “YOU, (who has it all together and has everything going for you), YOU have to be born again.”
Maybe we can skip the label, and not just say we are born again, or think we are born again, but live a totally transformed life.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be made new in you today. Amen