Someone has said that there are four stages of life: Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood and then “Gee, you look good!”
I bet you’re like me: you know that no matter what you do, time catches up to you. Things sag, muscles get weaker and weaker. Our joints start to ache and it never goes away. Our memories…what was I saying again?
Aging is a part of the human condition—like it or not.
Perhaps that’s why, at some level, we all end up asking the great existential question: why am I here? It relates to the fact that we live 70 to 80 years and then we wonder, “Is that it”? Is there nothing more? At some point, you’re gonna have to deal with your REAL, real age: your spiritual age.
Maybe a man named Nicodemus in the Bible was wondering the same thing. His story is recorded in John 3:1-15. He knew good theology and probably had some great answers for spiritual health. He was concerned with holy living and being faithful to the Lord. He is someone who usually has a lot of answers.
And now he comes to Jesus with questions.
1 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.”John 3:1-15
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.
6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
New International Version
Among many things this story teaches us, it certainly provides us with a warning: our theological baggage we drag around can blind us to simple revelation.
Nicodemus was blinded by his angle on the Lord. He couldn’t conceptualize the idea of being spiritually born again. The idea of having his heart redeemed by the Lord was foreign to his theology because he was Jewish. In his mind, he was already redeemed because he was part of the biological family of faith.
But Jesus didn’t allow Nicodemus to settle for that theological baggage. Jesus didn’t allow the assumptions of religion to cloud the truth. Jesus pushed through it to help Nicodemus see the truth.
As an older man, Nicodemus had lived a long life and amassed a great deal of theological education (and status). Jesus tells Nicodemus, you need to be born as a spiritual infant in the Lord’s kingdom.
Jesus invites Nicodemus to have a real birthday.
Have you had your real birthday? Have you had a day when you were born again into the family of God through Jesus?
If not, pray a prayer of faith and reach out to Him.
Pray like this: “Jesus, I admit my sin to you. I want to make you my Lord. From here on, I am committing my life to you.”
If you prayed that prayer in faith, the Bible says you have been born again—you’ve had a real birthday! Be sure to connect with a local, Bible-teaching church and let them know. Get connected!
No matter what stage of physical life you may be in, the Lord Jesus is the only one offering us a chance at real life through a real rebirth in Him.