A devotional thought from Ken Easley for “Look and Live!”
When my son Jordan was growing up, he liked to watch the kids’ cable channel Nickelodeon. As he got older he enjoyed the channel’s evening shows on “Nick@Nite.” I would always make a strange mental leap when I heard the phrase “Nick at Night,” however. I thought about Nicodemus, the Jewish teacher who came to talk to Jesus one evening (see John 3:1-21). In my mind’s eye, I imagined the two of them meeting on a flat rooftop, with only the light of the moon and the stars, and the hint of a breeze.
On the surface Nicodemus came to Jesus to compliment Him as a great teacher and as one who performed miracles. There’s no evidence Nicodemus was aware he had any spiritual need. But Jesus knew his heart. The Lord recognized a man—sincere and learned as he was—who had never been born again. He had never received spiritual life from God.
Jesus went right to the core issue and told Nicodemus that he needed to be born from the Spirit of God. Followers of Jesus now understand that Jesus was giving one of the major teachings in Scripture on “regeneration,” that is, new spiritual life that comes from God.
Jesus referred to His coming death as being like Moses lifting up the serpent on the pole (John 3:14-15). Then He went on to proclaim that everyone who believes in Him receives the gift of eternal life. In other words, “being born again” and “believing and receiving eternal life” are simply two complementary ways of looking at the vast subject of salvation.
Pause and Reflect
• If you could have a quiet, nighttime conversation with Jesus, what would you ask Him?
• Would Jesus tell you that you need to be born again, or have you experienced regeneration?
• How do you distinguish between the concepts of “regeneration” and “receiving eternal life”?