Devotions: John

A devotion based on John 3:3.

You must be born again. What does that mean? That phrase has been misunderstood ever since Jesus first uttered them two thousand years ago. Nicodemus, who was a trained theologian living in Jesus’ culture and speaking Jesus’ language, had no idea what it meant. He dismissed it with a hyper-literal interpretation of a person crawling back into their mother’s womb.

I have heard two different ministers preach against being born again. In their mind, a born again Christian is an extreme fundamentalist with far right political leanings. One of them feared that it might mean that God was done with the individual. For Jesus, being born again is the beginning of the Christian journey. It is a transformation by the power of the Holy Spirit that starts the individual, not in a position of strength but in a position of weakness where ongoing reliance on the Father is requires. It includes a spiritual development that is continuous as we grow into the person that God wants us to be. Being born again is the only way to become a Christian.

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