People tend to label you as a collection of your experiences. During my first youth camp experience, I was pulled underwater in the pool as I was taking a breath. When I pulled my head back above water, I regurgitated all of that water back into the pool. By the end of the week, I was known as the boy who threw up in the pool. How I looked forward to going home and shutting the door on that identity!
Have you ever wanted to go back? Have you ever wondered what it might be like to face the world with the beautiful optimism that you see in the eyes of children before expectations started weighing you down? The world is an open book, and you can be anything you want to be. Reset the game. Start a new life.
This is what Jesus proposed to Nicodemus, a man of considerable influence in his day. “You must be born again,” he told him in John 3:3, to which the scholar replied, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (v. 4).
Jesus offers us that opportunity. Story after story in the Word tells of people who encounter Christ and become entirely new human beings, even sometimes assuming new names. Simon, “God has heard,” became Peter, “rock.”