Sarcasm is a common response to something unbelievable or a concept too hard to grasp. When Jesus introduced the spiritual concept of being born again, Nicodemus couldn’t wrap his mind around this. Trying to be funny, Nicodemus appears to tease Jesus, imagining a newborn shoved back into their mother’s womb. Jesus wasn’t playing around as this initial conversation leaves behind one of the greatest promises in the Bible, John 3:16-17.
Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born? 5 Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and [[a]even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God, John 3:3-5.
Another spiritual moment that matters takes place during a parade without floats or a marching band. Jesus’ reputation as a healer and miracle worker had spread throughout the region as countless individuals just wanted to see this man of God. A vertically challenged man named Zacchaeus decided to climb a nearby tree to get Jesus’ attention. This stunt to get noticed works as Jesus takes time from his busy schedule to meet with this corrupt tax collector. This magical meal transformed Zacchaeus’ life.
So then Zacchaeus stood up and solemnly declared to the Lord, See, Lord, the half of my goods I [now] give [by way of restoration] to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I [now] restore four times as much. 9 And Jesus said to him, Today is [[b]Messianic and spiritual] salvation come to [all the members of] this household, since Zacchaeus too is a [real spiritual] son of Abraham; 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost, Luke 19:8-10.
These two memorable moments in the Bible magnify how a spiritual conversation can completely change your perspective about life. Jesus didn’t merely talk about living an abundant life. Rather, Jesus put his own personal agenda aside to fulfill God’s purpose for His life. As a Christian, I stride to have a spiritual moment that matters every week. Yet, every day with Jesus during his three-year earthly ministry, the lost got found and hope was restored to those who had given up. May you experience a slice of this abundant life.
by Jay Mankus