Summary: Born again??? What on earth does that mean?
John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.
2 He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." 3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!"
5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ’You must be born again.’ 8 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."
9 "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.
10 "You are Israel’s teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
We used to play a game called aggravation. Each player had four game pieces in a starting box. You had to roll the dice for a 1 or 6 to get out of the starting place and then you tried to move around the board to get home where you were safe. If someone landed on your space while you were on your way around the board you had to go back to the starting place. I remember being almost home and one of my sweet family would land on me and make me go all the way back to the starting box. It was very aggravating. Starting all over can be difficult. The older I get the harder it seems to be. But sometimes a new start can be a blessing. Jesus tells us about a fresh start from the Spirit of God that brings us to God’s kingdom.
Here in John 3 Jesus tells this man Nicodemus that for him to see the kingdom of God he’s going to have to start all over... be born again. This idea sounded crazy to Nicodemus. His question was, “How? Can a man return to his mother’s womb and be born again?” He may have even thought, “And what if your mother has already died?”