The New Birth – Intro Lesson 2 – January 16 – 23

“From obscure to valuable.”  How does it happen?  Dr. Arthur Ammann in his new book, (in)visible, describes through very personal stories the enormous impact that we can have on others when we pay careful and loving attention to individuals.   His insights cause the reader to consider thoughtfully the people within their family, as well as the stranger, who for many very different reasons have little worth in the culture in which they live.  It may be the disabled or the sick.  It may be the elderly or a young child.  It might be the lonely rich or the struggling beggar.  It may be you or me, when we are feeling worthless or incapable or depressed.

When Jesus walked those roads from Judea to Galilee, He was always aware of the individual.  He touched them and made them see.  He heard their stories and made them well.  He interacted with them and answered their questions.  He explained who He really was and what He wanted to do for them.  He clarified misconceptions and erroneous ideas.  He offered to them the gift of eternal life through believing in Him.  When Nicodemus, a Pharisee, came to him one dark night, seeking to satisfy some of his curiosity, Jesus responded with a statement that was a bit shocking.  He explained to him that a person must be “born again in order to see the Kingdom of God”.  Isn’t it amazing that Jesus was continually able to preach to the crowds, take time to be alone to pray to His Father, train his disciples, and pay attention to individual people whose lives would never be the same because they met Him face to face?

When the writers of the Gospels, “the Good News about Jesus and His Kingdom”, wrote their books, they recorded for us, as individuals, truths that are life transforming.   Those who believe in Jesus are still being changed from a self-centered existence to becoming a child of the King.  They are becoming people of hope and joy as citizens of the Kingdom of God.  It’s a dramatic change that begins with the “new birth.”

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