The Only Way to Enter Another Realm

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."—John 3:3 Late one night a well-educated religious leader sought out Jesus of Nazareth, a controversial itinerant preacher.

“Rabbi,” Nicodemus addressed Him, “we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do the things You do unless God is with him.”

Nicodemus respected Jesus and had drawn certain conclusions about Him. He was a good teacher, even capable of miracles.

The Bible says of Jesus, “He knew all men…for He knew what was in man” (John 2:25).

Jesus knew Nicodemus’ heart. He didn’t pursue philosophical discussions or polite conversation. He got right to the point:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

The phrase “born again” has been dragged through the media, maligned, made fun of, and often completely misunderstood. It left Nicodemus, the theologian, baffled as he satirically asked Jesus, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus explained:

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”

Nicodemus’ mind was reeling. With all his knowledge and intellectual prowess, he was still wondering, “How can these things be?”

Jesus gently chided him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?”

You can be a religious person, versed in philosophy and knowledge—maybe even a leader in your church or temple. Yet, you can still be ignorant of the one essential, logical condition stipulated by Jesus for entering the Kingdom of God.

“That which is born of flesh is flesh.” We all got here one way. We were all born “of the flesh" from our mothers’ wombs.

But there is another, spiritual, invisible world, inhabited by spiritual beings, where the Kingdom of God resides. There is only one way to enter into this world as well. Only one way to enter into this other realm.

“That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

You must be born again, by the Spirit of God.

Jesus challenged the mind and intellect of Nicodemus, then He got to the heart of the matter: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

By the Holy Spirit of God, we pass from death to life, no longer bound by this world and its constraints. We will not perish. Our sin, our pain, our misery, the heartaches and failures that torment and taunt us are now subject to a new order, to a new, eternal, life in the Kingdom of God.

That’s what it means to be born again.

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley