A Noticeable Change
By Dawn Neely
You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.” John 3:7 NASB
In the book of John, we see a respected teacher and Rabbi come to Jesus at night. Nicodemus was a moral man and highly respected in the Jewish synagogue. People came to understand the Jewish law through him. And while he was considered to be a learned man, he realized, through his encounters with Jesus, that something was lacking in himself. Nicodemus was curious; perhaps even convinced-- but he was not committed.
Nicodemus gives Jesus respect by calling him “Rabbi” (John 3:2). He goes on to admit that He (Jesus) must be from God,“For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him. (John 3:2).
Jesus replies, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3). Naturally Nicodemus inquires how that could happen. Jesus goes on to explain that, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
While Nicodemus was never identified as a disciple, he did believe that Jesus was from God. This Jewish leader who came to Jesus at night shows up again in the scriptures in John 19. Following Jesus’ death on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus (John 19:1).
Nicodemus, while still a Jewish teacher, accompanies Joseph to the tomb, “bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds” (John 19:39).
This is a noticeable change. Nicodemus who feared to be associated with Jesus is found at the burial site of Jesus. He no longer carries the condemnation of the law, but rather a freedom that only Jesus can bring.
Shall we all take a moment and ask ourselves, “Do I see a noticeable change in my life?” Not just since my initial salvation experience, but in my day-to-day life. Am I different than the world? Are my pursuits and my goals aligned with Jesus? Does my speech, my thoughts and my activities honor my Lord?
Jesus compares the work of the Holy Spirit to the wind. We all have seen the tremendous power of the wind. It is the same with the Holy Spirit. He can transform and shift our lives in a way that none other can do. Faith is not a once-and-done action of the believer but rather an ongoing work of the Spirit who, as Jesus says, ”blows where it chooses” (John 3:8).
For some the coming of the Spirit and faith will be a dramatic event; for others it will move more slowly. Believers, therefore, should pray and give thanks for God’s Spirit, eager and ready to testify to God’s ongoing activity in their lives. With God’s Spirit in our lives, we will see a noticeable change.
I pray that others will recognize a noticeable change in me. Thank you that my old nature has passed away and that I am a new creature in you. May I be a reflection of your love. In Jesus name, Amen
© 2019 by Dawn Neely. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Monday, 18 April 2022.