Have you heard of "tonsorial"? If I said that I had a tonsorial appointment, what would you think? Is my throat sore?
Some words sound like they should mean one thing, while, in fact, they mean something entirely different.
As it is with some words and their meaning that sort of sound familiar, so it is with spiritual words and their doctrinal meaning.
Are you familiar with the Gospel of John's account of Nicodemus? The apostle of love, near the end of his life, wrote about a Pharisee (a religious leader) who met Jesus after the sun had gone to bed. In the darkened evening, Nicodemus, a sincere man, came to Jesus to learn some things about His actions and claims.
In the middle of their conversation, Jesus says to him, "Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus immediately jumps in with his comment that is innocently blurted out: "How can a man be born when he is old?" (John 3:3b-4a NKJV) Being born occurs only once, as an infant — or so thought this important religious leader.
Here we note the classic misunderstanding into which many in the fourth Gospel fell. People assumed one thing when, in fact, Jesus was verbalizing something quite the opposite. Usually, when Jesus was teaching about spiritual issues, His listeners would assume the wrong thing (i.e. a physical issue).
By now, you have googled "tonsorial" no doubt. Therefore, you know that I have an appointment with my barber!
Jesus told Nicodemus that to know God, one must be born from above (or born again, i.e. responding to the call of God by His Holy Spirit). God invites people everywhere to embrace Him, to trust Him by faith.
Have you been born again? What does your heart tell you? Do you feel the wind of the Spirit as He calls you to accept all that God has done to secure your salvation?
Prayer: Almighty God, please forgive us when we misunderstand what You want us to learn. We are grateful for Your grace as You patiently help us learn and understand what You did for us through Christ Jesus at Calvary, and through His resurrection and His ascension. We are humbled by Your faithfulness to us. Help us to be faithful to You. Teach us, like Nicodemus, through Your Son's words and through Your Spirit's work in our lives. In our Saviour's name, we pray. Amen.
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