[Editor's note: Beyond Sunday is a Monday refresher to carry you through the week.]

Focus Verse of the Week

In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (John 3:3)

Commentary

I often rejoice that Christ did not say this to the woman at the well, nor to that woman who was a sinner. If He had said it to them, people would have said, "Oh, that poor woman needed to be converted; but I am a good person. I do not need to be converted. Regeneration will do for harlots, thieves, and drunkards, but we, who are moral, do not need it."

But who did Christ say this to? He said it to Nicodemus. Who was he? He was a religious leader. He would have been a bishop if he had been here. Nicodemus stood very high; he was one of the church dignitaries; he stood as high as any man in Jerusalem, except the high priest himself. He belonged to the seventy rulers of the Jews; he was a doctor of divinity, and taught the law. There is not one word of Scripture against him; he was a man that stood out before the whole nation as of pure and spotless character.

And what does Christ say to him? "No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." I can imagine the see a scowl on his forehead. He says, "What do you mean by being born again—born from above—born of the Spirit? Now I am old. Can I a second time enter my mother's womb, and be born?" Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit." He did not take back what He had said, but He just repeated it.

And Nicodemus was like tens of thousands of people today. The moment you talk to them about regeneration or conversion, there is a scowl on their forehead. They say, "I don't understand it." Of course the natural man does not understand spiritual things. It is a matter of revelation. May God reveal Himself to your soul.

(Adapted from Dwight Lyman Moody's Life Words.)

A Thought to Keep

Being a "good person" or "moral" or "spiritual" doesn't help us reach the Kingdom of God. We must be born again - there's no substitute.