The kingdom demands each one of us search within ourselves individually to the freedom spot in the inner part of us. In our conscience we are confronted and challenged by the Holy Spirit. Those who fear individuality and its demands may quickly reject the attempt of the Holy Spirit to move within us and start to form us. In rejecting the attempts and invitations of the Lord to enter the inner world of our person, we often are rejecting the recognition of having a free individual internal self. The fear is that this would some way destroy our group identification, which shields us from the demands of becoming an individual. The group is the identity for so many and individual identity is avoided because it would expose our personal thoughts, behaviors, opinions, actions and conscience.
Entrance into the kingdom is just the opposite. It is pulling away from the group with intention of confronting the internal person and assuming the full responsibility for what is found out; knowing such an encounter can be a fearful and intimidating moment. As in the story of Nicodemus (John 3), he is identified at several ‘group levels’ within himself. He is a Jew and a Pharisee, a ‘teacher of Israel,’ a ‘ruler of the Jews’ and has identification with each of these positions. He must pull away, even for the moment, to recognize that Jesus is asking him as a person to be ‘born from above.’ He is asking him to see and enter the kingdom alone, in his inner man, solely apart from others and as an individual. This is little different than not going beyond being a Calvinist, Methodist, Pentecostal or a big-shot Jew like Nicodemus or whatever. Until we come individually we are still only part of the group. The alone part is necessary before the group part.
“I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’” Jesus