I remember as a child watching a silk worm slowly but surely be transformed into a beautiful butterfly. It was an amazing sight! It was hard to believe that such a thing could occur. As I reflect on the night that Nicodemus came under the cover of darkness to interrogate Jesus, I am reminded of the amazing transformation of the silk worm to the butterfly. I know this may sound strange as you read this account, yet Jesus is teaching Nicodemus a great spiritual truth. He is teaching him about the need for spiritual rebirth if one is to gain entry into God’s kingdom. This is an incredible passage of Scripture and one that we need to wrestle with and grasp if we are to understand God’s solution to our exclusion from His presence.
Nicodemus was no dummy. He was influential; was a member of the Jewish ruling party and took his seat on the powerful Sanhedrin. He was no stranger to Old Testament teaching. Jesus told him that he must be born again if he wanted to gain entry into God’s kingdom. Nicodemus, not surprisingly, struggled with what Jesus was teaching. So Jesus took him back to Ezekiel and shared with him that God would be the one who would deal with sin once and for all. Jesus told him that it would be He Himself that God would use to overcome the predicament of sin. He taught him about the need for spiritual regeneration and how this would bring a new birth to those who accepted God’s solution to the predicament of sin through Himself.
If we are honest with ourselves, the concept of being born again is hard to grasp. Yet spiritual rebirth is required and spiritual rebirth brings with it transformation of our inner being. As Paul so wonderfully states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Spiritual rebirth changes us to people who have become God focused and who love to live lives pleasing to Him. There is so much in John 3 for us to learn from and be amazed by. John the Baptist again confirms the authenticity of Jesus. The writer John concludes the chapter with this incredible statement, “The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
If we are truly born again then our lives will outwardly show it because we have been transformed from spiritual death to being now alive in Christ! We serve Him and gain all our pleasure in knowing who we are in Christ. Perhaps each one of us needs to examine whether spiritual regeneration is a reality in our lives and how that reality has transformed us into being a new creation.