The Ultimate Source

John 3:3 “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

The word translated “again” has been said to mean: “from above.” It does mean that, but not just in the sense of direction (up), it can also mean “from the top” Mark 15:38, or “from the beginning” Acts 26:5. It can be used to mark the beginning of a process, Luke 1:3. As used here the word literally means: “extension from a source that is above.” BDAG This word was also used for the repetition of a process starting at the source or, in some cases, the beginning.

Nicodemus understood the word, when used with born, to mean a repetition of the process of being “begotten” all over again. So he asked Jesus if a man can “enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?” But Nicodemus was thinking of the wrong source: a mother. Jesus was speaking of the ultimate source of life: God. Isaiah 44:2,24; 49:5; Jeremiah 1:5 teach that God is the ultimate source of all births. And this is the source that Jesus referred to in this passage. The Apostle John spoke of this in 1:13; 1 John 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18. Nicodemus should have understood this. 3:10

Jesus told Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, that God must qualify him for the kingdom of God or he would not get in… and this qualification involved God making his life all over again. This was jolting to Nicodemus. But Jesus also used the pronoun “anyone” translated “a man” in v.3. He was not just making a qualification that applied only to Nicodemus. It was a qualification for any person who would enter His kingdom. It doesn't matter who a person has been born to, or in what religious ceremonies someone has participated, Jesus requires everyone to be born again. To continue this thought please read Jesus' Kingdom Immigration Policy. You can read all related posts Here.

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