Seeing the World in a New Way
In this passage, Jesus teaches Nicodemus how to see the world differently. He says it is possible to see the Kingdom of God, right here on earth. To see, and furthermore enter the Kingdom of God, Jesus says one must be born of water and the Spirit.
Jesus tells Nicodemus in stark and dramatic terms what he must do: be born again. This is a very difficult thing for Nicodemus, a Pharisee and expert, to even understand, let alone accept. To be reborn, he would need to start over, re-enter the world with nothing he had acquired along the way so far. He had so much to lose: power, prestige, position, and the comfortable certainty of his path.
So how does Nicodemus respond? Nicodemus is mentioned twice more in the Gospel: once he cautions the Sanhedrin to hear Jesus out before condemning him (7:50), and again when he, along with Joseph of Arimathea, another "secret" follower of Jesus, prepares Jesus' body for burial (19:39). He has stepped forward in hope, even though he may not fully understand.
Real, lasting hope requires a shift in our worldview. As he did with Nicodemus, God invites each of us to see the world differently. He invites each of us to see from a Kingdom perspective, and to be born of water and the Spirit, daily. As we begin to see the world as Jesus does, we will face difficult realities that require us to step out in faith. But it is in those moments that our real hope can grow.
In rural, remote villages throughout Africa, water-borne diseases make children sick. Simple things like washing hands and using a safe toilet can transform life, but it means thinking in a new way. Lifewater teaches healthy habits to families in hard-to-reach places.