Our birth: nothing very special

Read: John 3:3-7

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ...That which is born of the flesh is flesh.... John 3:6

Just like Jesus started out life as a helpless baby, part of a normal human family, we also share many of the same weaknesses He had: having a body that is subject to hunger, injury, sickness, and death; experiencing difficult and broken relationships; facing temptation.

In Nicodemus’s conversation with Jesus, Jesus also makes reference to a few of the differences between Himself (being God) and other men. Those who are not reconciled to God “cannot see the kingdom of God.” People are born separated from God, in sin and without a way of salvation by our own power. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” means two things. First, we all have a physical body. Second, “the flesh” means that our physical bodies and desires tend to be bent toward sin and away from repentance and love for God.

The effect of sin on us is the death and illness we all face. It affects both our physical bodies and our spiritual souls. Bodies suffer from many problems, and, eventually, no one can avoid death. Spiritually, Ephesians 2 describes us all as “dead in trespasses and sins,” living “in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and ... by nature children of wrath.” Jesus tells us that we can’t fix this ourselves: “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 5:15).

The picture the Bible paints of us and the weakness in which we were born is pretty bleak, but it’s not the whole story...

Questions for reflection and discussion

● Where do you see brokenness and sin in your own life?
● What have you done to try to fix things yourself?

Dear God, the way You describe me and my sin can be discouraging. Give me the strength to be honest about my weaknesses and believe in the truth of Your Word instead of rejecting You and depending on myself. In Jesus’ name, amen.