I will begin with Nicodemus:
Born from Above
1-2 There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. Late one night he visited Jesus and said, "Rabbi, we all know you're a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren't in on it." 3Jesus said, "You're absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it's not possible to see what I'm pointing to—to God's kingdom."in this passage I see myself- many times we approach Jesus when no one is watching or when we have the cover of darkness-meanwhile the people closest to us don't even know that we have approached Jesus. When we don't live in the light that Jesus is we often don't understand what he is teaching us. This is in fact what we read with Nicodemus he wanted to keep his status in society but his heart yearned for Jesus. He tried the easy approach if I just come to see him without anyone knowing I will be ok. But he was blow away by what Jesus revealed to him. He did not understand how anyone could be born again!
4"How can anyone," said Nicodemus, "be born who has already been born and grown up? You can't re-enter your mother's womb and be born again. What are you saying with this 'born-from-above' talk?"
What is Jesus Saying?
5-6Jesus said, "You're not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the 'wind-hovering-over-the-water' creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it's not possible to enter God's kingdom. When you look at a baby, it's just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can't see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.We are created by God! We must turn over our hearts to him voluntarily. We must die to the old way of life and "be born again" so that we can now live and be lead by the Spirit of God! But Jesus does not only tell Nicodemus what needs to happen; but he lets him know that Jesus will pay the price for this to transformation to occur.
7-8"So don't be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be 'born from above'—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it's headed next. That's the way it is with everyone 'born from above' by the wind of God, the Spirit of God."
In these verses Jesus describes our old state-when we were running from his light into darkness! But he also depicts his plan for redeeming us of our sins. How great is He! He always has a plan! In his infinite Love he was beginning to reveal his plan for our salvation right from the beginning! He chose from the greatest and most sacred part of his heart-his only son! I think about My little Sammy here and I am not jumping at opportunities to send him off into another place far away from me for the sake of others! Thank God that as his heart broke at the thought of what his Son was going to endure, he willingly gave Him away so that we could be brought back to Him through his sacrifice!13-15"No one has ever gone up into the presence of God except the One who came down from that Presence, the Son of Man. In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.16-18"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
19-21"This is the crisis we're in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won't come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is."
I love how Paul describes the plan of redemption here in Colossians
2Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the [l]portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God's holy people) in the Light.13[The Father] has delivered and [m]drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son [n]of His love,
14In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.15[Now] He is the [o]exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation.16For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.17And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).18He also is the Head of [His] body, the church; seeing He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, so that He alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be preeminent].19For it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him [p]permanently.20And God purposed that through ([q]by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled [r]back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross.
21And although you at one time were estranged and alienated from Him and were of hostile attitude of mind in your wicked activities,
22Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father's] presence.
I am grateful for you all and pray this prayer also found in Colossians for us all.
For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [[g]special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the [h]full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [[i]in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things--All my love,
10That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and [j]desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight,[k]acquaintance, and recognition].
11[We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy,
12Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the [l]portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God's holy people) in the Light. Amen.