We are familiar with the scientific fact that a wiggly caterpillar spins a cocoon and comes out a beautiful butterfly. But how long does that transformation take? Depending on the species, this change takes from 2 weeks to several months.
That’s how it is with Christ-followers. When we choose to follow Jesus’s ways, we’re seldom changed completely and dramatically in a matter of minutes or days. The process takes time.
Here’s some Biblical background on choosing Christ:
In John 3:1-21, we read about Nicodemus approaching Jesus at night. Why night time? The traditional thought is because Nicodemus was a Pharisee and held a high position at the time and approached Jesus at night to avoid looks and talks from others who may not have looked so favorably upon him talking to Jesus.
Another, more accurate explanation, based on New Testament studies and wording, was because some teachers had finished their work for the day and gathered to have discussions on many topics.
The topic explained in John 3:1-15 is when Jesus said, “unless one is born again, he cannot be in God’s Kingdom.” Nicodemus then asked Jesus, “But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? He cannot enter his mother’s body again. So how can a person be born a second time?”
Jesus explained his answer with the following response:
“…unless one is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter God’s kingdom. Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit. … You must all be born again. The wind blows where it wants to and you hear the sound of it, but you don’t know where the wind comes from or where it is going. It is the same with every person who is born from the Spirit.”
So, we’re physically born to our parents. We grow. We learn to talk. We learn to walk. We learn our ABC’s. We learn to read and add and subtract numbers. We never stop learning, even if we’re not in school. We always have something to learn.
So it is with our spiritual education as well. We grow. We learn. Nicodemus learned that to enter God’s Kingdom, we have to be born again, not physically but spiritually.
Each step of our spiritual growth is like the wiggly caterpillar spinning the cocoon, growing and changing inside that cocoon, and emerging out as a beautiful butterfly. The caterpillar grew from a long, wiggly worm shape to a big butterfly with wide colorful wings (depending on the species, of course).
When we decide to follow Jesus’ ways, we begin our cocooning process of change in all areas and aspects of our lives. From worms who crawl in the dirt to butterflies who fly high in the sky. This transformation does not happen in an hour, a day, a year, and sometimes (most of the time) even in a decade or longer. We are constantly changing, growing, and learning. We are lifetime learners.