Except: The Condition Behind Outcomes.

A critical lesson in life is an understanding of the cost dimension of life. Knowing the price required for certain outcomes. With this comes the understanding that except certain conditions are met, some results are impossible and remain out of reach, regardless of the intention and strength of desire.

Men generally make propositions and proffer alternate routes, in an attempt sometimes to circumvent the price required or to work on their terms.

The gospel writer, John, who wrote the non-synoptic gospel that goes by his name, by the Holy Spirit captured critical spirit disclosures that we might have otherwise missed.

In the third chapter of the gospel according to John, from the first to the eighth verse, a critically important conversation is captured. Nicodemus was the first to speak. Remember that this man, wasn’t a novice, he was a mature man. Scripture describes him as a Pharisee. But he wasn’t just a regular Pharisee, he had attained rulership status among the Jews. That was no mean feat.

John 3:1-8
[1]There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
[2]The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
[3]Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
[4]Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
[5]Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
[6]That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
[7]Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
[8]The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

But as soon as he was done with his opening remark, appreciated, applauded, and acknowledged who Jesus was and all he stood for. Jesus spared no syllables but launched into the heart of the matter. After all, there was no way a man of that stature will show up at night for compliments.

The only reason why that arrangement found expression was the Kingdom of God. So it makes the world of difference that Jesus in communicating the kingdom of God, introduced it with a conditionality: An Except.

Concerning the kingdom of God and a desire to be a part and to participate, every man must deal with this Except. There is no other way. And until a man satisfies this condition he is barred from perceiving or participating. This holds regardless of who the man is or where he is from. This is the Except that undergirds the Christian faith.

Anyone who has never met this condition is still an alien, unknown to the commonwealth. Nothing matters before this. Everything changes after this.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

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