I’m taking a break from the book of Colossians to focus on the season of Advent. Advent is the five weeks leading Christians to the celebration of the birth of Christ which is really why Christmas is celebrated. I pray you find it beneficial…
In John 3 a Pharisee named Nicodemus starts talking to Jesus and Jesus tells him straight out that he needs to be “Born Again”.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Despite popular thought, this passage is about flesh and spirit. Many believe that this ‘born of water’ in verse 5 refers to the waters of baptism. It does not. Verse 6 states clearly that “Flesh gives birth to flesh” contextually keeping with how the water in verse 5 is to be understood. Jesus’ words here are a quoting a concept from Ecclesiastes.
As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
And so too Christmas is about flesh and spirit because Jesus is both Man (flesh) and God (spirit).
Luke 1:26-3526 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."
When Mary was informed by the angel that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit, we see the miracle of God co-mingling with and literally becoming the flesh of man. Yes, the very concept should leave us scratching our heads at the thought of God, the "Maker of all things” becoming part of that which was made. It is certainly a miracle that the Virgin became pregnant but I think it may be more miraculous that God (spirit) became Man (flesh).
Nicodemus, do you remember him from John 3? He and his ilk did not quite get the concept of being “born again” (John 3:7). Seriously, the very concept should leave us all scratching our heads. None-the-less, Jesus said it and we need to pay heed to his words. His words are not of no-consequence, they are the words of eternal-life. And they begin for us on the day the child Jesus was born on Christmas Day.