Charles Spurgeon once said, “Being born again is a matter so mysterious, that human words cannot describe it.” He continues to explain this divine act: “Being born in a Christian land and being recognized as professing the Christian religion is of no avail whatever.”
Today’s passage focuses on a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus, who came in search of Jesus. The Pharisees were a respected religious group within Judaism. Nicodemus would have kept the law and been deeply familiar with Scripture. Although he approached Jesus under the cover of night, he also spoke with a measure of respect, calling Him “Rabbi” (v. 2).
Nicodemus admitted that anyone who performed the miracles Jesus did must surely be from God. Nicodemus was not against Jesus, but neither did he fully understand that this was the Son of God. When Jesus began to speak to Nicodemus of spiritual things, the Pharisee was confused. He asked, “How can someone be born again when they are old?” (v. 4).
This concept of being born again was unfamiliar to Nicodemus. This respected religious teacher could not understand spiritual things: “Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light” (v. 19). Nicodemus, for all his good works and religious knowledge, was still walking in darkness.
John 3:16 is often quoted to explain salvation, and Jesus clearly states what it means to be born again: belief in the Son of God. Trusting in the person and work of Jesus brings eternal life. This salvation was freely offered to Nicodemus and to each of us as well. God has miraculously made a way for us to be born again.
Being born again means more than saying that Christianity is a good idea; rather, it is accepting that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for your sins and was resurrected from the dead. This is the only way to have eternal life with God. If you haven’t trusted Christ, make today your spiritual birthday!