John 3:3-7 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
Today we continue in the famous John chapter 3. Nicodemus was introduced, and now begins the conversation that the Lord had with him. Jesus mentions that unless someone is Born Again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
The first thing to understand is that this is not necessarily talking about Heaven, when referencing the kingdom of God. If we consider the fact that in the day of judgment everyone will go to heaven to stand before the throne of God to be judged, then that makes this verse a lie. And we know that the Word of God is not in any way, shape, or form, untrue. Also consider that Jesus explains the kingdom of God in many parables (Mark 4:26-30 for example), and referenced the kingdom of God in so very many places in scripture. In each of those places, when reading and understanding the context, He never refers to the Kingdom of God as a PLACE. Rather, when we understand, we see that the kingdom of God refers to faith, salvation, and reconciliation to God the Father. Jesus tells Nicodemus that to even see the kingdom of God, one must be born again. To see/understand/experience/know the things of faith, and salvation, and a relationship with God, one must be born again! There are many who claim the name of Christ, and claim to be Christian…but that doesn’t mean a thing if one isn’t born again.
In the second verse Nicodemus shows he doesn’t understand and asks if Jesus is talking about a physical second birth. After we are saved and we understand what “Born Again” means, this sort of response is almost comical. However, let’s understand that we probably would have asked the same thing if we were in Nicodemus’ shoes if we had never heard the phrase.
Jesus then explains what it means to be born again. Jesus is talking about a spiritual re-birth. He explains that to be saved, one needs to be “born of water and of the Spirit” Now some have taught that the “born of water” means the physical birth, concerning the embryonic fluid. However there is a problem with this in that…this attains to every living creature and doesn’t make sense to give an option of NOT being born of water. Second, if there is the option for a man to not be born of the water, does this mean there are some who cannot be saved such as babies who die before being “born” out of the embryonic fluid? This would mean also that being born again is only possible with a mixture of flesh and Spirit. Instead, a better understanding is that, when “water” is often mentioned and spoken about in spiritual terms, it refers to Doctrine. Clean water means truth; poisoned, bitter water means otherwise. In this conversation the Lord is telling Nicodemus that for salvation to be obtained, one needs to be born out of truth, and of the Holy Spirit. There is no mixture of flesh AND God for salvation to be possible. As we remember from John 1:12-13, being born again is solely of the will and power of God Alone.
Jesus then clearly explains that there is a difference between things born of the flesh, and things born of the Spirit. The flesh cannot produce things of the Spirit, and the Spirit does not produce things pertaining to the flesh. And when Jesus is speaking of spiritual matters such as Salvation, which is Eternal, spiritual, Life, He is speaking of things pertaining to the Spirit, not flesh. This is also why we read in 1 Corinthians 2:14.
The last verse today is simply reiterating to Nicodemus, and us today reading, not to be surprised that Jesus said we must be born again.
I often like to take this verse to explain a bit in reference to the “ye” and “thee” and “thou” and “-est” and “-eth” that shows up and often either confuses people or turns them away. These words, and word endings are not pointless, archaic things that were included merely because people talked like that “back then.” (They actually did not generally use these words/endings in speech at the time of the KJV being translated.) These have specific, direct, grammatical meanings to help us accurately know what is being specifically stated in the Bible’s languages.
As a rule of thumb, if you see the word that starts with a “y” it means multiple people. “You” and “Ye” refer to a group of people. Today English doesn’t specify between “you” singular and “you” plural. Other languages do, but not English.
If you see a word that starts with “t” it is referring to a single person. “Thee” and “thou” means one person.
The endings: “eth” is used when the verb is in third person—“he/she/they”—(remember the “t” in “eTh”) and “est” is used when the verb is in second person—“you”—(remember the “s” in “eSt”).
In the last verse for today, the Lord is explaining “Marvel not that I said unto thee [Singular, Nicodemus], Ye [Plural, Everyone] must be born again.”
Indeed, Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus that we ALL need to be born again in order to be saved.
I love you all so much and continue to pray for you daily. Please pray for me, and the rest of the Body of Christ. This time of year is often hard for many people due to loss of loved ones, and dealing with heartache. Please remember to pray for the Body of Christ, as well as the lost souls, who may be dealing with such things!
Love always in Christ Jesus,