John again points to a Spiritual birth. As he talks with Nicodemus Jesus points out that it is possible to be alive physically, but not to be spiritually alive. Without a spiritual birth it is not possible to see the kingdom or even the things of the kingdom. “It is not necessary to understand in order to believe but it is necessary to believe in order to understand”, said St Augustine. Like Nicodemus the things of the Spirit make no sense to those who are not alive to them.
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14
It feels a bit like Jesus is trying to explain ideas to Nicodemus that he has no concept of. Jesus seems to be answering questions ahead of where Nicodemus is at. When we experience spiritual birth it’s like starting all over again. We are spiritual babies and need to learn and grow into the things of the Spirit.
- What does it mean to be “born of water and the Spirit”? (v5)
- Read Numbers 21:6-9 what point is Jesus making in verse 14 and could this be a metaphor for salvation?
- Have you experienced spiritual birth and healing from the deadly snake bite?
- John 3:16 is probably the most famous verse in the Bible. What does it mean to you?
- Put yourself in the place of Nicodemus how do you feel at the end of your meeting with Jesus?
May we be those who are born of the Spirit and controlled by Him alone.