Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
— John 3:3
The Gospel of John is such a magnificent collection of stories from the life and ministry of Jesus. Every time I read it I am reminded of the greatness of our Lord. I love the interactions that are chronicled here. The one-on-one conversations, like this one with Nicodemus, give such great insight into who Jesus is and how He works.
This opening statement to Nicodemus is something of a show-stopper for the learned Rabbi. Nicodemus was one of the most well-studied masters of Judaism in his day. He was “the teacher of Israel,” but this pronouncement by Jesus effectively short-circuited his mind. In Nicodemus’s mind, the path to the kingdom of God was no doubt paved with religious ritual, and righteous behavior. But Jesus says “no.” As the conversation continues, the Lord aims it directly at him; “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.'”
This exchange between Jesus and one of the most religious individuals of all times is essentially important. There is no wonder why the Holy Spirit inspired John to record it. We can never allow ourselves to think that religious righteousness will earn our salvation. It is only by the glorious grace of the new birth that we are saved. Never forget this essential truth.
Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik
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Additional Daily Devotionals
My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers
Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon