Page 14 - COG Publications

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Just '\'(That Do You Mean
BORN
AGAI~?
Nicodemus. He was a Pharisee, and the Pharisees were
hostile to Jesus, because of this new Gospel. Nicodemus,
however, wanted to meet this astonishing Messenger and
discuss it with him. To avoid criticism from his colleagues,
he came to Jesus by night.
"We know," he said, "that you are a teacher come
from God."
The "we" implies that the divine identity of the
Messenger and the Source of His Message was known to
the Pharisees. But they were "Now" people, concerned
with protecting their status as rulers under the Roman
government, not with receiving revelations from God.
,Judea was a vassal state, under the rule of the
Romans. The Romans were shrewd enough to force
leaders among the Jews to administer most of the details
of government, under higher Roman officials. Of course,
the Roman rule was protected by occupying military
forces. This syfltem made life for the Jewish sub-rulers
very desirable - a status worth maintaining.
At once Jesus perceived the import of Nicodemus'
first words. His Message was the good news of the coming
WORLD GOVERNMENT of GoD - that is, the KINGDOM
OF GoD - the GovERNMENT of God.
These Jewish rulers feared that Message. Jesus was
of their race -a Jew.
If
they did not oppose Him, they
feared being shorn of their power, and perhaps put to
death as subversives threatening the overthrow of the
Roman government. And the Pharisees thought Jesus
proclaimed the
immediate
take-over of that rule!
Not of This Age
Therefore Jesus did not waste words. He struck
fltraight through to the crux point - the Kingdom of
God is
not
of
this
world - this time - this age - but
of the WORLD TOMORROW - a different and a following
AGE. Not composed of humans, but of immortals - the
GoD FAMILY!
So Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot
see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
Notice carefully, please - being "born again" has a