Born Again: {Why Jesus's Response to Nicodemus was Offensive and Beautiful}

"Jesus answered him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’"John 3:3

Unless you are born again…

Born again. Can you imagine how humiliating that must have sounded.

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Nicodemus was a Pharisee...a teacher…a scholar...a ruler. He was respected and revered. In fact, that is why he came to Jesus at night in the first place. He was afraid of tarnishing his reputation. Afraid of associating himself with this Jesus.

And Jesus jumps ahead of the formalities and He cuts straight through all the nuances of doctrine and starts at the core…you must be born again.

“Nicodemus, you’re not enough. You’re not good enough. You’re not righteous enough. You don’t know the Bible well enough. You’re not honest enough or brave enough or kind enough or generous enough or smart enough or rich enough or poor enough. Nicodemus, you are not enough.”

Can you imagine the hurt? The confusion? The surely-I-must-have-missed-something-becuase-that-can’t-be-what-He-is-saying in Nicodemus’ response?

"Nicodemus said to Him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?’” John 3:4

“Nicodemus, you don’t need to just clean up your act. You don’t need to fix one little piece of your theology. You don’t need to fast a little more or give a little more. You don’t need to become a Sadducee instead of a Pharisee. You don’t need to join a different synagog. Nicodemus, you need to be made completely new...you need a complete rebirth.”

Sisters, this is what Jesus said to us. When we were lost in our sin. When we didn't believe in a God. He said...

“Child, you’re not enough. You’re not good enough. You’re not righteous enough. You don’t know the Bible well enough. You’re not honest enough or brave enough or kind enough or generous enough or smart enough or rich enough or poor enough. Child, you are not enough...but I am.

...child, you don’t need to just clean up your act. You don’t need to fix one little piece of your worldview. You don’t need to do a little more or give a little more. You don’t need to live in a different country. You don’t need to join a different organization. Child, you need to be made completely new...you need a complete rebirth.”

And although at first glance Jesus’ statement is offensive and degrading, we now know it to be beautiful and freeing.

Sister, you didn't have to clean up your life, you got to surrender your life. You didn't have to fix your mistakes, you got to have them forgiven. You didn't have to change your heart, you got to have the blood of Jesus wash your heart and your mind and make them new.

And today you don’t have to keep trying and working and striving for your freedom in Christ…instead you can rest in the fact that Jesus died for you. You can drop all of your mess ups and brokenness and mistakes at His feet knowing that you have received from Him righteousness.

Did you catch that? You have already received righteousness and the right to call God your Father.

You didn't get a clean slate or a fresh start, you got the already completed work of Jesus! You didn’t get a blank test, you got the page filled up with all the right answers and signed with Jesus name on your behalf! You didn’t get a better version of yourself but a whole new life in Christ!

You already have a life that is ultimately victorious because your final destination was fought for and won on the cross.

Sister, that rebirth…that completely new...it’s not offensive, it’s grace.

And that work of grace is done. You place in heaven is being prepared. You are a daughter of the King of Kings.

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Now, we get to live from that place. We don’t live to earn freedom, we live from freedom. We don’t work to earn grace, we live by grace. We don’t love to be loved, we love because we ARE loved.

So let’s live today from a place of awe and thanks as we see the work of Jesus as oh so beautiful. Let’s start on our knees before Jesus, with our hearts bowed in wonder of all He’s done...and then let’s live from that place.

Be blessed <3

{NOTE: Sister, if you don’t know…if you aren’t already following Jesus, then you haven’t entered that freedom yet. You don’t have the promise of heaven…yet. It can feel offensive. You can’t do it. But He already did it. He already payed the penalty for your sin. Jesus Christ, God Himself, became a man and died on a cross to pay for your sin. Then He rose from the dead to prove that He is God and that He has power over death. All you have to do is be born again, to accept His forgiveness. And that rebirth is so simple. You just bow your heart to God in prayer and admit that you believe in Jesus, that you believe what He did is enough to pay for all your mistakes. And then you ask for His power to live in and through you from this day forward. You can be sure that He will. If you want this, then pray…right where you are. And would you email me - alesha.tobless {at} gmail {dot} com - and let me know so that I can rejoice with you?}