“Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him’” (John 3:1-2).

Recognizing Jesus as a teacher from God isn’t a bad place to start, but if you don’t graduate to calling him Lord, then the knowledge of his teachings is meaningless. Nicodemus exemplifies the precariousness of all those born into a long tradition of religious expression — the things of God become too familiar. The practices, rituals, customs, and traditions of what is supposed to be a living, dynamic, ever-evolving faith becomes a cold, static, impotent religion. Faith is not genetic. One is not born into the family of God. You must be born again.

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