“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
God Restores the Beauty Born again. Birth, by definition, is a passive act. The enwombed child contributes nothing to the delivery. Postpartum celebrations applaud the work of the mother. No one lionizes the infant. (“Great work there, little one.”) No, give the tyke a pacifier not a medal. Mom deserves the gold. She exerts the effort. She pushes, agonizes, and delivers.
When my niece bore her first child, she invited her brother and mother to stand in the delivery room. After witnessing three hours of pushing, when the baby finally crowned, my nephew turned to his mom and said, “I’m sorry for every time I talked back to you.”
The mother pays the price of birth. She doesn’t enlist the child’s assistance or solicit his or her advice. Why would she? The baby can’t even take a breath without umbilical help, much less navigate a path into new life.
Nor, Jesus is saying, can we. Spiritual rebirthing requires a capable parent, not an able infant. Who is this parent? . . .
He who did it first must do it again. The original creator re-creates his creation. This is the act Jesus describes.
Born: God exerts the effort.
Again: God restores the beauty.
We don’t try again. We need not the muscle of self, but a miracle of God.
[3:16: THE NUMBERS OF HOPE]
Almighty God, your gift of salvation is a miraculous gift, the death of your Son, Jesus Christ. There is nothing we could do to deserve this amazing gift. Thank you for giving it freely to all who will accept it. We praise you for providing the path to a new life for your children. How blessed are those who have you living in their hearts, amen.
Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For . . . there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.
To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.