Seeing the Kingdom

Text: John 3:3
Jesus answered him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.’ (NRSV)

What does it mean to “see” the kingdom of God?  I think, in this context, it means to understand it or to be able to identify the things of the Kingdom of God when they are taking place right in front of you.

Have you ever wondered why people can “see” the same event and come away with totally different understandings of what just took place?  It really is remarkably simple if you think about it.  People always “see” things through the filters of their minds.

We are never “seeing” things as they really are but we are “seeing” things as they are interpreted by our upbringing, our education, our experiences, our core beliefs, and, most importantly for me at least, our understanding of who God is.  When my understanding of God is different than your understanding of God, my understanding of the events we witness will also be different than your understanding of the events we witness, even if we are standing right next to each other.

So, when Jesus says, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”, he is revealing the truth that unless your mind has been transformed by a personal relationship with God through the Son and by an indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you will not grasp the things of the Kingdom of God even if they are occurring right in front of you.

Being born from above, being born from top to bottom, being born again (all appropriate translations of the original Greek in this text), means to be totally transformed by the power of God.  And that transformation includes the transformation of your mind that allows you to “see” the Kingdom of God at work.

Why is this important?  It is important because one cannot truly be used by God in the most effective way until one can see how God is at work in the world.  And one cannot see how God is at work in the world until one "sees" the Kingdom of God.

Pray with me:

God, transform me from top to bottom.  Renew my mind that I might grasp the work of the Kingdom of God.  Fill me with your Holy Spirit, that you might use me to bring about your Kingdom on earth.  May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  AMEN.

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