Born of water and Spirit

Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ -John 3:4-7 NRSV

Can you relate to the carnal mindset of the Pharisee? He seems to have absolutely no clue about what Jesus is speaking to him about. He digresses into a weird question about a grown person being naturally born again. It is a strange reaction but not a surprising one. Many very religious people are clueless concerning spiritual matters.

Yet even today there exists an ideology and theology that embraces the idea that all humans are born with immortal spirits. On all sides of the religious spectrum folks embrace the idea that we are all born with something immortal inside of us. Jesus contradicts this widespread thought of natural immortality when he says: ‘You must be born from above.’

Dear Lord, please open our hearts and minds to really understand what it means to be born from above.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.


  1. Well said Bob, Unfortunately, this theology of humans having immortal spirits leads to the theology that "all roads lead to God." And many are deceived.

  2. Thanks for weighing in Steve. To me the passage interprets itself. Water and Spirit are repeated when he says: "What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit." In my view, Jesus is simply speaking of two different births and not speaking of water baptism at all.


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