“Feed My lambs. Take care of My sheep. Feed My sheep. Follow me! You MUST follow Me.”
These words were the first ones my eyes read on January 1. They are underlined so I MUST respond.
“Feed My sheep”… LORD, how do I know who Your sheep are?
“My sheep know My voice”.
Father, what am I going to feed Your sheep?
This was given…John 3:5
And as I also know Your voice and am one with the flock, we feed together.
The key word is MUST, all else is to amplify the meaning which is “whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen that what he or she has done, has been done through God.”
I’ll admit that it is a lot to unpack the principal of MUST and the reason behind it. And so, my kindred sheep, let’s begin to unpack…
You must first put one toe in the water
Nicodemus was part of a cautiously interested group of people from within the Pharisee sect who recognized that Jesus must be a man of God. Having listened to what this man of God had been preaching about the wrath awaiting religious leaders, (i.e., “blind guides”) who were manipulating scripture into a tool of oppression; Nicodemus wanted to “see” and not be “blind”.
He approached Jesus with that as an introduction and said to Him,
“Rabbi (Teacher), we know [without any doubt] that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs [these wonders, these attesting miracles] that You do unless God is with him.”
Nicodemus acknowledged Jesus’ authority at great risk, as his peers would excommunicate him from the synagogue and ruling council if word of this meet-up with Jesus got out.
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can SEE the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
This was an answer to a question he did not ask, so one can only imagine the puzzlement on the face of Nicodemus at hearing this.
“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
He continues, “Do not be surprised that I have told you, ‘You MUST be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so, it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be possible?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? I can guarantee this truth: We know what we’re talking about, and we confirm what we’ve seen. Yet, you don’t accept our message. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?”