There was a man named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council and the Pharisee sect. One night he clandestinely sought out Jesus to speak with him. He said, “Teacher, it’s obvious that you have a special relationship with God—that’s the only way anyone could possibly perform all the miracles that you are performing.”
Jesus replied, “The fact is that it’s impossible to understand God at work unless you have been adopted as one of His children.”
“I’m way too old to have been adopted as a child! Is it possible for an old man like me to be adopted into a new family?” Nicodemus asked.
Jesus answered, “Here’s the way it works: you can’t become a child of God unless you’ve been spiritually cleansed and spiritually birthed. Humans have little babies, but God gives birth to spiritual babies. Don’t be shocked to learn you have to be baby again.
“Can you control the wind? We can hear it, but we have no idea which direction it’s coming from next or which direction it will go. And that’s the way it is with spiritual birth—there’s no predicting it on your part.”
“I don’t get it,” Nicodemus replied.
“Wow. You’re on the ruling council and you don’t get this?” Jesus continued, “The fact of the matter is that we can only relate to what we know—things we’ve experienced and seen. And I’ve been teaching from these concrete experiences, but still you all don’t ‘get it.’ If I’m teaching you from concrete experiences and you don’t get it, how could you possibly understand if I were to teach you lessons from the cosmos, with which you have no experience? After all, no one has ever been in outer space except the one person who came from outer space—the Son of Man. And just like Moses held up that snake in the desert to stop death in its tracks, the Son of Man has to be held up to stop death too, and everyone who counts on him to save them from death won’t just live, they will live forever.
“You see, God loved the world so much that he gave up the only Son he ever fathered to be lifted up and stop death in its tracks. And if you are able to believe that, you will live now and forever. God didn’t send his Son to browbeat the world, but to save it. Believe in the Son and there’s no browbeating; don’t believe and you’ve already been beaten, because you didn’t believe in your only chance at real life—God’s one and only Son.
Here’s what I think: God sent Light to the earth, but some people prefer to slink around in the dark because they don’t want anyone seeing what they’re doing. When you’re up to no good, you hate the thought of being found out and you certainly wouldn’t move around in the daylight for fear of being found out. But when you live a life of integrity, you can call on people during the day, and you’re not afraid to live in plain view of God and everyone.