Last week, my wife and I welcomed our son, Jakob into the world. Filled with love and pride, I held my newborn son in my arms. It made me a pause and reflect on Jesus command to be born again. In fact, Jesus very plainly instructed that a rebirth is required to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. John 3:3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
Of all the analogies of transformation Jesus could have used, why did he choose the idea of being born again? Why not use an analogy of a butterfly? Or perhaps leaves changing color? If we understand why he purposefully used this analogy, we will have a deeper understanding of what a born-again Christian looks like.
- Just as the child has no control over when he or she is born, the Christian has no control over his or her rebirth. A child does not dictate when he or she is born. He or she simply submits to his or her mother’s body. Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. We submit to God, his spirit takes care of the rebirth. It happens in God’s timing, not ours. We do not earn it, we accept it through Jesus. Don’t get impatient with the process. Submit to God and let him complete his good work in you.
- Just as a baby has unquestioning trust in his mother, a born-again Christian has unquestioning trust in God. Psalm 34 17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; deliver them from all of their troubles. A baby does not cry out of despair. A baby is conditioned to cry because the child knows his mother will come. That is why the born again cry out – because they know they can trust in God to come. That is why we must “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5) because God will come right on time to give you what you need to make it through the day.
- Just as a newborn baby gets its sustenance directly from his or her mother, the born-again Christian gets their spiritual sustenance directly from God. There is no formula in the spiritual realm. If you try to feed your soul with the world, your soul will become sick. Where are you trying to get your spiritual sustenance? If you want to experience the joy and peace that transcends all understanding, you must, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” Drop the vices of this world and crave the sustenance that comes from God.
- Once a baby is born, there is no going back into the womb. Once a Christian is born again and called out of Sodom, there is no turning back. The plea of the born-again Christian is “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10.
- Finally, only a child looks at the world through the eyes of innocence. Somewhere along the way of living, many of us become bitter and jaded. But Jesus calls us to find that childlike innocence once again. When the disciples asked who the greatest in heaven would be, Jesus replied (Matthew 18:3) …“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Why did Jesus use the analogy of born again as opposed to another analogy? It is a description of the type of relationship he wants to have with us. Come to God to be born again and “He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings, you may seek refuge… (Psalm 91:4).