Self-inflicted Blindness. Christmas: Rebirth, Part 2


Once we accept the shining light of Jesus into our lives, a transformation occurs.

"Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night…" (John 3:1-2a NIV)

Compared to his fellow Pharisees, Nicodemus was quite different. Most of the Pharisees walked around with their heads held high, putting down anyone who did not believe the same way they did. But not Nicodemus. Jesus intrigued him, and he wanted to put Him to the test. At the same time however, he didn't want to be seen associating with Jesus, so he decided to secretly sneak out at night to find Him.

"…and said, 'Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." (John 3:2 NIV)

But instead of putting Jesus to the test as he had planned, Nicodemus found himself put to the test by Jesus' response: "Jesus declared, 'I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.' 'How can a man be born when he is old?' Nicodemus asked. 'Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!'" (John 3:3-4 NIV)

I can sure relate to Nicodemus' response! When I was sixteen, my family and I joined the ranks of a legalistic denomination. For the first time in my life I had a Bible in my hand. I was overjoyed. It was virtually useless to me at that time in my life however, as I didn't have a personal relationship with my Savior.

Then one day, during the summer holidays, I was confronted by a charismatic young man who asked me: "Are you born again?"

I had no idea what he was talking about, but I knew it had something to do about accepting Jesus into one's life. I was sure that I had done that, at least intellectually. I did know of Jesus at that time, although I didn't know Him personally.

I turned to him and answered: "Of course!"

He invited me to a tent meeting, not too far from my home, and as I had nothing better to do, I decided to go.

That evening a fire and brimstone kind of preacher had us at the edge of our seats. He explained that to be born again meant that one had to take a 180 degree turn, that one had to completely leave behind the old sinful life.

I reasoned with myself that I had already done this. And in essence I had! I HAD left behind my old life, and I was holding fast to an entire set of rules to keep me on track! I just hadn't left behind the "sinful" part of my life, that's all! I realize now that my reasoning was similar to that of Nicodemus. I had been blind, I was still blind, and I would keep on being blind until Jesus became my reality! Although Jesus was trying to shine on me, I hid in my self-imposed blindness, where His light would not hurt my eyes!

For those who have a relationship with Jesus, being born again is not some strange concept. Rather, it is a reality. You are literally being transformed, bit by bit, as you begin to reflect, more and more brightly the light Jesus is shining on you!

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (2 Cor 3:18 NIV)

"You're done with that old life. It's like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you've stripped off and put in the fire. Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete." (Col 3:9-10 The Message)

This is the Message of Christmas, friends. There is hope for you! If your life is dull, lifeless, and filled with vomit, Jesus can change all of that. He can turn it around and make it exciting, attractive, and filled with joy. He came so that you could experience life to the fullest: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV) No present can surpass that one!

Are you born again? If not, why not take Jesus up on His offer? Why not accept His custom-made robe of righteousness? You'll never need to replace it! Wow! That's out-of-this world!

Rob Chaffart

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