What Jesus Did! 'A New Start!' — John 3:3

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Jesus replied [to Nicodemus], "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God."
— John 3:3 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus basically tells Nicodemus, a religious ruler and a righteous man, that he must start over. Not only that, he tells him he must have a fresh start that only God can bring about. He must be reborn. That is no longer a theological discussion, but a personal one: "... unless YOU are born again, ..." But more than just being born again, Jesus is telling Nicodemus that he must be "born from above" [1] or "born of water and Spirit." [2] (This spiritual birth is essentially what John emphasized earlier in his gospel when he talked about being "born of God." [3]) Another human birth, another birth by human efforts and origins, isn't possible but more importantly, it simply couldn't accomplish what is necessary for Nicodemus or anyone else to be a part of God's Kingdom. Getting ourselves into God's Kingdom is something that even the best of the best can't accomplish for himself or herself. Good —even best — won't cut it. Only God can make this birth happen. Can we hear that? Oh yes, because in our heart of hearts, we all know we don't measure up. Deep down, we know that only God's grace and the power of the Holy Spirit can make us God's holy children.

[1] John 3:3 NRSV.
[2] John 3:5.
[3] John 1:11-13 NIV.

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for not only providing Jesus' sacrifice for my sins but for also providing the rebirth that makes me your holy child. With thanksgiving for your grace that makes prayer possible, I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 2 Corinthians 5:14-18
  • Colossians 3:10-11
  • Titus 3:5


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Illustration of John 3:3 NLT — Jesus replied [to Nicodemus], "I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.