I Really Mean It!

Read: John 3:1-15

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (v. 3)

“I mean it, mister!” “I’m not kidding this time!” “Don’t make me pull this car over!” “I mean business!” Maybe you heard some of those expressions when you were growing up. Or perhaps you even used some of them raising your own children. In any case, these expressions are “parent-speak” for emphasizing the fact that you “really, really” mean something.

Jesus had his own expression that he used when he wanted to emphasize a point. That expression is “Truly I say to you . . .” or in some instances, “Truly, truly I say to you . . .” In our Bible reading today, Jesus was trying to teach the Pharisee Nicodemus, who had gone to see Jesus at night so no one would see them talking. Jesus told Nicodemus that in order to “see” or understand and embrace, the kingdom of God, one must be “born again” (v. 3). Nicodemus, as a Pharisee, believed in a strict and harsh adherence to the Law, often to the exclusion of grace and compassion. Unfortunately, this legalistic mindset prevented him from understanding the message of grace that comes with being reborn in Christ.

And so it is. The words of the Savior captured for all time, imploring us to listen, to pay attention, to learn, to etch these words on our hearts and embrace them in our spirit.

As you pray, ask the Lord to “truly, truly” open your heart to God’s Word.

About the Author

Lou Bury is the pastor at Downers Grove Community Church in Illinois. He has the pleasure of serving the Lord alongside a congregation committed to being “the hands and feet of Jesus in the community.” He and his wife Judy have two adult children and two granddogs.

This entry is part 1 of 14 in the series Truly, Truly: Paying Attention to Jesus