The Born Again Life

2nd December

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.””

John 3:3

A Pharisee called Nicodemus came to Jesus late one night. As he approached Jesus, Nicodemus declared that the religious leaders knew that He was sent from God because of the evidence seen in His miracles, (although all were not be bold enough to say it; probably the reason why Nicodemus came at night). Yet Jesus’ reply was not one of gratitude but one of warning. Jesus said that ‘unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God’! Jesus was basically saying, ‘that it is no good to just know about Me through my miracles and believe I am sent from God. If you really want to see God and enter God’s Kingdom, you need to be born again.’

Of course Nicodemus was stomped by this and couldn’t understand how a human could be born again of his mother’s womb. Yet Jesus was not talking about physical re-birth but spiritual. He was talking about the death of our old sinful self and a new birth through the Holy Spirit, cleansed, forgiven and made whole as a new person.

Today as we read this story, we too are reminded that a belief in Jesus’ miracles or even in the supernatural is not enough to save you from your sins. In order to be saved we need to be born again by allowing the Holy Spirit to renew us, cleanse us and purify us. We need to die to our self and be born again in the Spirit. It is only then, we can know we are saved and that we live as part of God’s Kingdom and as part of His family.

The Temple Privilege

1st December

““All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and You can rebuild in three days?” But when Jesus said “this temple” He meant His own body.”

John 2:19-21

After Jesus rose from the dead the disciples remembered His words from today’s passage. They too may have, at the time Jesus spoke these words, thought Jesus was mad for making such a bold declaration about destroying the temple and building it again. Of course they had witnessed some of Jesus’ miracles already, so no doubt they knew His power. But to destroy the temple that took so long to build and re-build it in three days? Surely that was a bit much right?! Yet three days after Jesus’ death, in His resurrection, they put the puzzle pieces together and realised that Jesus was not talking about a physical building, but of His own body.

This truth’s implication becomes personal for us, when we too realise that we are the temples and vessels of the Holy Spirit, of God Himself. We host the very presence of Jesus, the One who was raised and ‘re-built’ after three days. He lives in us. We are a temple for His presence. Isn’t that such a huge privilege and honour? Paul encourages the church in Corinth to remember this fact by saying ‘don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body.’

Jesus knew that His own physical body was a holy vessel for the presence of God and we too share in that same privilege. We no longer are bound by four walls, but rather carry the presence of God with us wherever we go! May we honour God with our bodies and be fully aware of the divine privilege and responsibility of being temple of God, now and always.