The kingdom demands each one of us search within ourselves individually to find freedom for our inner self. 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 an individual internal self. The fear is that this would some way destroy our identification with the group, which shields us from the demands of becoming an individual. The group is the identity for such a person 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 the intention of confronting the internal person and assuming the full responsibility for what is discovered; knowing such an encounter can have a fearful and intimidating consequence. In the story of Nicodemus, 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 at each of these levels. 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.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Jesus