How to enter the Kingdom of God – John 3:1-17


This passage starts off talking about being born again” … what does that mean? And why must one be “born again” in order to enter the Kingdom of God? And what about Matthew 19 where Jesus says a rich person can’t enter the Kingdom of God and must sell everything and give it to the poor?

As you can tell, there’s A LOT going on here.

We also look talk about verses 16 & 17 in this passage. You know, the whole “God so loved the world bit…” verse 17 says that Jesus came to send save the world not just some of us. Why do we leave that part out? And what does the “Kingdom of God” and “eternal life” even mean? In Luke 17, Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God is already among us. So what’s going on there?

We talk about all that — and more — in this week’s episode.

If you want even more queering scripture, Sanctuary Collective might be right for you. There are lessons and books and resources on how to do this queering Scripture yourself and a community of LGBTQ Christians and straight, cisgender supporters from around the world to discuss faith and life with.

Read the transcript (PDF)

John 3:1-17

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a Jewish leader. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could do these miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born anew, it’s not possible to see God’s kingdom.”

Nicodemus asked, “How is it possible for an adult to be born? It’s impossible to enter the mother’s womb for a second time and be born, isn’t it?”

Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don’t be surprised that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ God’s Spirit blows wherever it wishes. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It’s the same with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said, “How are these things possible?”

“Jesus answered, “You are a teacher of Israel and you don’t know these things? I assure you that we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you don’t receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Human One. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so must the Human One be lifted up so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

This article was published by Brian Murphy