The story is told of Billy Graham and an Archbishop dining together. Billy Graham asked the archbishop an important question: when had he become a Christian?
Moved, the archbishop told his story:
He had already been installed and serving as archbishop in his dominant religion, in his home country, when he had been invited to Chicago to lecture at a prestigious seminary.
After his arrival to the windy city, he decided to do some sightseeing and boarded a bus. Almost as soon as he sat down, someone tapped him on his shoulder. He turned and looked into the round, ebony face of an obviously poor woman seated behind him. “Mister,” she said, “Has you ever been born again?”
Because English was his second language, he thought he had misunderstood her. “Excuse me?”
“I says,” said the deep, rich voice, “has you been born again?”
The archbishop sat up straight and replied with a certain air, “My dear madam, I am the archbishop of the church in my country. I am here to give a lecture at the seminary.”
Soon thereafter, the woman rose from her seat as the bus approached her stop. She paused to look at the proud man in his religious robe with the bejewelled insignia of his office and said, “Mister, that ain’t what I asked you. I asked you, ‘Has you been born again?’ ” Then she turned and walked off the bus.
Those words burned in his soul. He went back to his hotel room, opened the Gideon’s Bible he found in the drawer, turned to the Gospel of John, and read the account of Nicodemus and Jesus talking in the middle of the night.
“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3: 1-3
With conviction, the archbishop realised that even with all his religious training, service, and prestige, he had never been born again. He knelt down and that night in Chicago, God answered the cry of the archbishop’s heart who thereafter had the promise of seeing God’s Kingdom.
(Story retold from the book Just Give Me Jesus by Anne Graham Lotz.)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18
Now it’s your turn to be asked, “Has [sic] you been born again?” It’s not your education, your title, your money, your membership to any club or church; it’s not your looks, your fame, or even your goodness, kindness, or sense of social justice that will give you a pass to God’s Kingdom. It’s believing in Jesus.
Today, that is your invitation to Jesus. “Has you been born again?“