Our verse for today comes from John 3:4, ” Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ “
Sherlock Holmes once famously said, ” How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? ” In this particular case in The Sign of the Four, Holmes is helping to uncover the facts as to how a certain man was able to be in a certain room, when there seems to be no possible explanation for his entrance or occupation there. The door, the window, and the chimney have each been eliminated as possible ways of entrance, and there is no spot within the room for the man to have hidden. Ultimately, the search leads them to a trap door in the roof, the use of which, not coincidentally, further explains the poisoned splinter found in the victim’s scalp. From the rafters, the suspect was able to shoot the splinter and eliminate the victim, enter the room and steal the jewels, and then exit back the way he entered. At first look, there seemed to be no explanation for what was plain for all to see. Something had happened that appeared to be impossible to explain until one was able to uncover and share more information that made it all make sense.
When Nicodemus heard Jesus say that you must be born again to see God’s kingdom, all that came to mind was an impossibility. Could something impossible, an adult re-entering his mother’s womb to be delivered again, be the only explanation for the mandate of Jesus? No, and yes. No, a grown person did not need to be birthed again. There, Nicodemus misunderstood the premise. Yes, the humanly impossible regeneration of the heart must occur for anyone to see the kingdom of God. And in that improbable explication, Jesus laid the groundwork for sharing how Jesus’ coming to earth would not only reveal the truth but would also be Truth incarnate, the truth upon which all else depends. It’s improbable, even impossible, yet it alone will remain forever.
As we seek Him today, let the impossible truth of rebirth captivate your heart as it did when you first experienced it those many years ago.