“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” – John 3:3 –

Butterflies are some of God’s most wondrous creations. Captivating in their beauty, elusive in their flight, they are a reflection of God’s love and grace. Yet at one time these enchanting creatures were lowly caterpillars.

Through the complex process of metamorphosis, these insects undergo a miraculous transformation. Hidden within a chrysalis, they are essentially re-created and born anew into a butterfly. In studying the life cycle of the butterfly, we can draw the analogy to our walk as Christians.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” – 1 John 2:15

Caterpillar = Worldly Life:

The life of a caterpillar is spent on the host plant where it is hatched from an egg. Its life purpose is simply to crawl along the leaves and eat voraciously on the foliage. Even when its food runs out, it does not move to another species of plant.

   Our lives as unbelievers were lived immersed in the world, consuming and embracing all its worldly ways and ideas. In times of trial, fear or suffering, we looked for secular answers rather than seeking God.

The caterpillar has poor eyesight and is unable to discern color. Its simple eyes see only light and dark. It can merely wriggle along slowly through the greenery, becoming easy prey for birds and other insects.

⇒   Before Christ, we lived in the darkness of the world, blind to the truth of God. We viewed life from a worldly perspective. Without divine guidance and protection, we easily fell prey to the enemy.

The caterpillar is born with imaginal cells destined to become butterfly features like wings and antennae. While it grows, a juvenile hormone released suppresses these cells from developing.

⇒   When we were born, we were marked with the imprint of our Maker. We were destined to become a child of God. Yet our stubborn ways and the deceits of the enemy delayed our answer to His call on our lives.

“Put off your former way of life, your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be renewed in the spirit of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22-24

Metamorphosis = Salvation:

The caterpillar reaches a turning point in its life. Its juvenile hormones subside, allowing the imaginal cells to awaken from dormancy. A final molting forms a shiny, protective chrysalis where metamorphosis begins.

⇒   Jesus calls us from our lowly walk in the world. The milestone in our lives occurs when we awaken from our life of sin and respond to His call. Our metamorphosis from unbeliever to believer, from unsaved to saved, begins.

Within the chrysalis, invisible to the eye, a miracle occurs. The caterpillar ceases to be. Instead, it becomes building blocks for a new creation. Imaginal cells transform a common caterpillar into a beautiful, graceful butterfly.

⇒   A miracle transpires in our lives when we accept the salvation our Savior won for us. Our old life ceases to be. We are transformed… spiritually reborn as new creations that reflect the beauty and grace of our Maker.

“We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18

Butterfly = New Life in Christ:

When transformation is complete, the butterfly emerges. Yet it must stay suspended, clinging to a branch, until its wings are fully dry and functional.

⇒   When we come to salvation, we leave our past behind in the grace of our Savior. Yet we are not experts at kingdom living. The Holy Spirit disciples us to live as God’s children.

The butterfly takes flight in its new life of freedom. Its compound eyes offer excellent vision, allowing it to see an array of colors. Its delicate, velvety wings are powerful for carrying it effortlessly through the air.

⇒   Our new life of freedom in Christ takes flight. Our view of the world changes to His heavenly perspective. We grow ever closer to His likeness and glory. Tapping into His mighty power, we soar through life by faith.

The butterfly plays a key role in the earth’s ecosystem. It searches for nectar, its new source of food, among brightly colored flowers. As it flutters from flower to flower, it helps spread pollen to produce new plant life.

⇒   As Christians, we play an essential role in God’s kingdom. As we set out in faith, embracing His purpose and passion for our lives, we “pollinate” this lost world with the life-changing good news of Christ.