“What do you mean?… How are these things possible?” John 3:4a, 9a

When Nicodemus came to meet with Jesus there was curiosity but also a longing, a deep longing he could not put into words. Nicodemus as a learned teacher, a Pharisee, knew a lot but he didn’t know what he didn’t know. He needed new eyes and new ears!

It reminds me of two short videos that illustrate this truth, both of which bring joyous tears! The first shows parents with a young child who has vision problems and they are trying to put on specially-made glasses so the child can see. The child struggles against it, even crying, but then opens his/her eyes and sees what has never been seen. Oh, the joy and the smile that comes over the child’s face seeing his mother clearly for the first time!

The second video is of young children having hearing problems never hearing a mother’s voice, a father’s words, or anything much. The doctor is trying to fit a child-size hearing aid into the ear and the child resists it! But then…the mom speaks and the child turns his head hearing her for the very first time. Immediately the child‘s eyes grow huge and the smile breaks out! Tears of joy stream down everyone’s faces! In each of these videos, the children were used to seeing or hearing what they knew. But when they received their ‘new eyes’ and ‘new ears’ what a transformation that took place.

Nicodemus did not know he needed to be born again! He was used to what he did know and the idea of regeneration of the spirit was not in his bank of knowledge; he resisted it. At this point in the story, scripture does not say Nicodemus believed. Perhaps later he did. But we, too, can resist what God may be trying to tell us. While this passage is about being born again, it is also about believers being transformed to be like Christ. I was born again at age 13 and more than 60 years later, I still find myself resisting what God is trying to get me to see or hear about myself. It usually revolves around my lack of trust in Him, His timing, His purpose, or His will. I am learning not to ignore that which provokes me, but to linger with it and set it before Him. I know I need new eyes and new ears and He is the only One who can reveal them.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Phil. 1:6

“Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Mark 4:23

Reflection: What are the deep longings of your heart? Where do you sense resistance to what God wants to do in you? Where might you need new eyes or new ears? Ask Him for them!

Francie Overstreet

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