Not Just Dust

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.’ In reply Jesus declared, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” (John 3:1-4).

Nicodemus asked, “How can a man be born when he is old?” That’s practical question. Obviously you can’t be – not in the way that Nicodemus is thinking. But, Jesus is telling him that you want to know what’s going on, but you can’t–not in your current state. You’re going to have to be born again. It’s an odd conversation. These two really aren’t on the same plane.

That’s because Nicodemus is thinking in what has become all of our default setting; he’s thinking of the physical–a body you can see and touch. It’s our flesh and bones–the stuff we can see and touch that gets our attention.

Jesus said, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:6). He’s telling him that there is another realm, another reality to concern himself with. It’s God’s Spirit that makes our spirits come to life.

When God made man, He “formed the man from the dust of the ground.” Now, if that were the end of it, that dust would still be laying there. You could see it and touch it, but just existing isn’t what God had in mind for us. So, God continued His work in creating man “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). God doesn’t want us to just exist. He wants us to live. The Bible says that it’s in Him that we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

We’re not just dust; we are created to live a life that goes beyond what we can see and touch. We’re created to be citizens of the miraculous kingdom of God.

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