How would you respond to someone who asked whether Jesus was born again? If He wasn’t, what about His statement, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3)?  What does it mean to be born again? And what is “circumcision of the heart,” which Paul speaks of in Romans? How would you respond to someone who asked whether Jesus was circumcised of the heart?


Jesus was not born again.  I know this for a couple of reasons.  First of all, Jesus never sinned.  He did not need to receive forgiveness of sins.  Neither did he need to receive the Holy Spirit, which one receives when one is saved/born again.  I am assuming here that being born again of the water and the Spirit is exemplified by Acts 2:38-41 in which people are told to be baptized (water) and promised to receive the Holy Spirit.  Again, to be born again requires that one repent and be baptized.  Jesus did not need to repent.  Although he was baptized by John, this was not the saving baptism preached at Pentecost by Peter. And Jesus was baptized “to fulfill all righteousness,” not for forgiveness of sins.
The second reason I know that Jesus was not born again is that the practice of being born again began after Jesus was crucified and resurrected.  To be born again is to be baptized into Christ, in which one participates in the death and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:1-7) which Jesus obviously could not do during his earthly life. Literally no one was born again before Jesus’ resurrection.
When Jesus said that “unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God,” he was referring to those who would come to God through Jesus–through participating in his death, burial and resurrection.  This requirement to be born again applied to people after Jesus died and was raised.  I assume that Moses and Elijah will be in heaven, but they were not born again.  We need to understand the context of what Jesus said in John 3:3.
Being born again means participating in the death and resurrection of Christ, which happens when we become disciples, repent and are baptized into Christ.  This happens when we repent and are baptized.  It means that we are saved–forgiven of sins and receive the Holy Spirit.
Jesus did not need to have his heart circumcised, for the same reason that he did not need to be born again. Circumcision of the heart refers to a person who, through faith, repentance and baptism comes into Christ.  The relevant passage is  Romans 2:28-29, where Paul describes circumcision of the heart as being “in the spirit, not the letter.” It is a spiritual thing, not an outward, physical thing.  This is also referenced in Colossians 2:9-12 in which Paul describes the circumcision done by Christ which occurs when we are buried with him in baptism.  Again, obviously Jesus could not have been buried with Christ!
I hope this helps.
John Oakes

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