The story is told of two soldiers who decided as a prank to smuggle a goat into their barracks. Foreseeing a potential flaw in the plan one of the soldiers remarked to the other, “What about the smell?” Without hesitation the reply came back, “The goat will just have to get used to it!” Which just goes to show how easy it is to miss the point and be focused on the wrong thing.
On one occasion Jesus was talking to a man who made the same mistake. Jesus had told him that he wouldn’t be able to see the Kingdom of God unless he was born again, and the man was rather disturbed by the thought that he was going to have to climb back inside his mother’s womb. No doubt she would have been even more concerned had she been present! But he’d misunderstood what Jesus meant – he wasn’t talking about a physical rebirth, but a spiritual one – a new birth into a new family with God as a heavenly father. It’s the life that we were really created for and it’s a life that Jesus makes possible.