Dr. Dan Hayden •

Even smart people get confused sometimes. Nicodemus was a smart man and he was very confused. “How can a man be born again?” he said to Jesus.

Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews – a very educated and important man. Yet, he had been very impressed with what Jesus was doing. The miracles were too astounding to avoid. So he came to Jesus secretly in the night. He was cautious because the Jewish leadership had already developed a negative attitude toward Jesus.

John records the interview in the third chapter of his gospel and he tells us that when Jesus said to him, “Unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” Nicodemus responded with a quizzical look and said, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Being born again was not something he could comprehend.


The word again in born again is an interesting play on words. It is the Greek word anothen, which can mean again or anew. But its principle meaning is from above – from the root ano meaning upward or above. So Jesus actually used a word with a double meaning. When He said, “You must be born again” He was really saying, “You must be born from above.”

Nicodemus could only see the physical absurdity. How can a man be born again or a second time? But Jesus was speaking of a spiritual birth. He was really saying, “You must be born from above.”

Now you know the real meaning of the word.

So, have you been born from above? It happens when you believe in Jesus as your Savior! ■