Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:5,6 ESV
One thing we must remember is that the kingdom that Jesus is teaching Nicodemus about has not come into existence yet, Jesus is speaking about the kingdom to come. The conversation that John recorded was happening while the old covenant was still in effect. Jesus hadn’t gone to the cross yet. John shares this conversation in his gospel to show his readers that Jesus had taught about how one enters into the kingdom of God. The kingdom doesn’t come, until the day of Pentecost after Jesus ascended to heaven.
So, as we read the gospel we can see that Jesus was preparing hearts for what they needed to know when His Kingdom was established. Even after this conversation Nicodemus walks away with information about the kingdom, but he is not a member of it yet. No one was born again until the day of Pentecost when those that heard Peter’s gospel message responded to it. Then they were born of the water and the Spirit.
As we read the Gospel of John today we see that Jesus was setting everything in place so that when the need for rebirth came, there would be a firm understanding of what was meant by it.
© 2013 leo J. Woodman