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Daily Devotional John 3:1–21

Recently someone I know asked my opinion on a Christian organization that had run into some controversy. I think I was asked because my acquaintance knew that I am a seminary professor and trusted me. Because I am a college professor and a pastor, people normally expect me to answer questions, not ask them.

You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.”

JOHN 3:7

In John 3 we find an important teacher of Israel, Nicodemus, asking questions. He had come by night to speak with Jesus (v. 2). But even before Nicodemus could ask a question, Jesus addressed what was in his head and on his heart. Jesus told Nicodemus that “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (v. 3). This made no sense to the teacher. How can anyone be born twice? Can they enter back into their mother’s womb? (vv. 4, 9).

To answer Nicodemus, Jesus used an illustration of the wind blowing wherever it pleased. He used this example to highlight the nature of those who are born again. We cannot figure out the moment-by-moment movement of the wind. In the same way, we cannot figure out who will be born again by the Spirit of God. It is, and will always be, a great mystery.

Jesus is not negating human responsibility, but He is emphasizing the Spirit’s role in a person coming to faith in Him. The Spirit of God chose the disciples of Jesus who were uneducated, unsophisticated, and were passed by many of the elite and educated people in Israel. “The wind blows where it pleases” (v. 8).

>> For some of us it seemed natural to put our faith in Jesus Christ. By God’s grace we were born into a Christian home and taught about the goodness of Jesus at an early age. For others, it may be a complete mystery how God saved us out of our broken and ungodly circumstances. The Spirit’s movements may be mysterious, but they are not random. Let’s thank God for choosing us.

Pray with Us

Sometimes we feel unworthy to have been chosen as Your followers, Lord! But we acknowledge that, as with Your twelve disciples, this is the work of the Holy Spirit. And we humbly thank You that we are among those chosen!

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