Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.
In this probably the most famous chapter of the Bible, Jesus teaches Nicodemus how to be part of God’s kingdom in heaven. Nicodemus recognized that Jesus was a teacher from God. His vision was cloudy but in the right place. Jesus opens the sight of Nicodemus to perceive more about how God works, which is to remake people from the inside out.
We didn’t have a choice in our physical birth, at least as far back as I can remember. When only God knew us, before we were conceived, we didn’t fill out a questionnaire stating what kind of family we wished to be born into – race, nationality or financial circumstances. But now that we are here, living each day as it comes, we do have choices. Will we accept God’s love? Will we consent to be reborn through the power of God’s Spirit and the water of baptism?
We can only take guesses about whether Nicodemus took the step of faith to believe in Jesus as his savior, whether he was baptized a Christian, or whether he asked God’s Spirit to take charge of his life. God knows the answers even if I don’t. But today, I pray to make choices that show I have given my life over to God, and by his Spirit, to allow God to make me new in his image.
I want to make choices today that honor you, O Lord. I want to allow you to guide my steps and my decisions, my words and actions. Help me choose what is best – loving others, serving my family and my neighbor, and let go of the rest. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.