I have started my annual weeklong retreat today and the topic for the day is becoming perfect, the reason why we are all here. It is only through multiple incarnations that our fallen soul is able to regain its perfection. (John 8:23)
Most Christians deny the words of Matthew 5, and claim that God’s Grace will make them perfect. But that is not at all what Jesus taught. He said that we need to repay our debts to the last farthing (Matt 5:21-26). He said that we need to love our enemies.
Nicodemus understood Jesus’ teaching, and as an old Pharisee who had done many thing wrong, he knew that took more than believing in Jesus – we have to walk in the shoes of Jesus. So, Nicodemus asked Jesus how it is possible to achieve perfection:
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 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. 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. 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? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, [truly, truly] I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:1–5)
Jesus agrees with Nicodemus’ point, that he needs to incarnate again to meet these guidelines. But Jesus goes on to say that not only do you have to be born again, you need to become a spiritual person like Matthew 5 describes.