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There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 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. (John 3:1~7)
You Must Be Born Again
Most people think that spiritual life is simple. Much knowledge is not necessary for spiritual life, but people merely think that their spiritual lives will go well if they do not sin, be good, keep the law, give offerings, and pray. Most people who begin going to church think this way. But as time passes, they begin to feel that they are unable to keep the law, although they initially had thought it would be easy to do. They sin and they fall into sin. Right then, people think, “It will be well if I try harder and put in more effort,” and try harder with all their effort. If they fail again, they say, “Isn’t this how our spiritual life goes? Who’s perfect?” then become negligent. They then have only an outwardly spiritual life. But Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” A man must become born again. What must he do to become born again? Also, how can you tell if you are born again or not? Many people are interested and curious about becoming born again.
The Heart Must Become One
Jesus did not tell the man with the infirmity for 38 years or the woman taken in adultery to be born again, so why did He tell Nicodemus to be born again? It was because Nicodemus believed he was doing well in spiritual life. Nicodemus had never committed evil sins and was admired by people. He thought he could go to heaven if he only did a little more. Therefore Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You cannot see the kingdom of God unless you are born again.” We have many kinds of problems but our biggest problem is the great wall of the heart between God and us. When we think of the story of the prodigal son, the plentiful food of the father’s home had nothing to do with the younger son when he was in the pig pen, starving. The younger son said, “Even the hired servants of my father have bread enough and to spare, and I perish here with hunger.” Although he was the father’s loving son, the plentiful food of the father’s house could not reach him. This broke the father’s heart, and put the son in pain. Later on, from the moment the younger son returns to the father’s house, all the food of the father’s is the son’s and the good clothes are his, too. What would the father withhold from the son? But this son was in pain because all the things the father would give him were blocked off. The words to be born again can be explained in this manner. It means that our heart must become one with the heart of Jesus. Before a young man and a young woman become married, they meet one another, grow closer, and have the heart to love one another. The hearts flow together and they become one-hearted. When they become one heart, the woman is pained when the man is in pain, and the woman rejoices when the man rejoices. When they first meet one another, looks and outwardly things seem important but as the relationship becomes deeper, the world of the heart becomes much more important. So w