If you look closely, you can see him in the shadows, making his way through the darkened streets for a nighttime rendezvous with Jesus. If you could see his face, you’d be sure to recognize him. He’s one of the best folk in town: a Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin, a leader of the Jews.
Jesus tended to hang around with a pretty tacky crowd sometimes – street people, prostitutes, tax collectors, world-class sinners – but Nicodemus isn’t one of them. He’s an honorable man, a faithful man, a law-abiding, patriotic man; an all-around good guy. He’s one of us.
John says he came by night. Given the way John writes the Gospel, you know that he’s not just describing a point in time; he’s describing a kind of time, too: a time of mystery and doubt; a time of searching for something you can’t quite see, reaching for something you can’t quite define. Which is, after all, the way most of us come to Jesus.
What would it mean in our day to be born from above? Let me introduce you to two people who are a lot like Nicodemus.
The first is Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright and poet who became the president of Czechoslovakia after the collapse of Communism, one of the prophetic voices of our era. When he visited America he delivered a powerful address to a joint session of Congress which could have been a sermon straight from this text. Havel said his experience had given him one certainty: ... consciousness precedes being, and not the other way around ... The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart ... Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being as humans, and the catastrophe toward which this world is headed – be it ecological, social, demographic, or a general breakdown of civilization – will be unavoidable.
That’s powerful stuff. That’s Gospel. Isn’t that a marvelous phrase: “a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness.” That’s what Jesus is talking about here. That’s what it means to be born anew: a total transformation in the way we think, the way we see, the way we relate to the world around us.
The second person is an attorney, a very successful attorney, who is the CEO of a major corporation. He showed up to worship on Palm Sunday morning years ago. At 39, he had everything the world calls success: a spacious house in the most exclusive neighborhood, several expensive cars, a corporate jet waiting for him at any moment. He told me later that the one thing he did not have was a friend. That’s what brought him to church that morning. He had been to the funeral of a business associate that week, and as he sat there, he realized that if he died tomorrow there would be no none that would really miss him.
He had not been inside a church since childhood, but he showed up that morning thinking that perhaps it would be a good place to find a friend.
He showed up at a men’s breakfast group later that week. In the fall he signed up for an intensive Bible study. His wife got involved with the church blood drive, then started driving for Meals on Wheels, and in a profoundly Biblical picture of Christian conversion, they both started leaving their comfortable, affluent home to serve meals to street people and to spend the night rocking babies in a homeless shelter. They even began to tithe. Within a couple of years he was chairing the Missions Committee, and she was elected a deacon servant leader.
If you look at the change which has come in their lives, there is no way to explain it apart from the presence of the love of God in their lives. They’re being born anew.
See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.
This is quite a good article, and brings the reality of born-again status into the real world, with real-life examples. Maybe you, yourself are also a real-life example.
The story of Nicodemus, referenced at the beginning of this piece, is a remarkable story. We see it greatly amplified in The Urantia Book account HERE. This version not only gives Jesus' counsel, but also reveals a lot about Nicodemus that we have not heard before. It's worth a read...
Most notable of course, about the article above and the Urantia Book account is Jesus' advice about being born again - born of the Spirit. To Jesus, being born-again is a most vital aspect of enering the kingdom of Heaven
What does it really mean to be born again? Here are a few clues:
103:2.1 Religion is functional in the human mind and has been realized in experience prior to its appearance in human consciousness. A child has been in existence about nine months before it experiences birth. But the "birth" of religion is not sudden; it is rather a gradual emergence. Nevertheless, sooner or later there is a "birth day." You do not enter the kingdom of heaven unless you have been "born again"—born of the spirit. Many spiritual births are accompanied by much anguish of spirit and marked psychological perturbations, as many physical births are characterized by a "stormy labor" and other abnormalities of "delivery." Other spiritual births are a natural and normal growth of the recognition of supreme values with an enhancement of spiritual experience, albeit no religious development occurs without conscious effort and positive and individual determinations. Religion is never a passive experience, a negative attitude. What is termed the "birth of religion" is not directly associated with so-called conversion experiences which usually characterize religious episodes occurring later in life as a result of mental conflict, emotional repression, and temperamental upheavals.
But those persons who were so reared by their parents that they grew up in the consciousness of being children of a loving heavenly Father, should not look askance at their fellow mortals who could only attain such consciousness of fellowship with God through a psychological crisis, an emotional upheaval.
And, HERE is TruthBook's Topical study on bing Born of the Spirit. This is a distillation of Urantia Book teachings regarding the subject.
Is desire enough to become re-born? I think it is...ask and you will find. It seems to me that this vital rebirth of the Spirit is something that God wants for each of his children, so if this experience has not yet become reality for you, and you sincerely wish for it, pray to God for his guidance in the ways you should go...