Nicodemus and Jesus


Thank you for joining us for Encounters with Jesus. Each week, we will hear a story from the Bible told from the perspective someone who encountered Jesus firsthand. If you would like to learn more about these charcters and their stories, you can read about it in the Bible. See: John 3:1–6




I’ve worked hard my entire life. I’ve put in long hours of studying the Torah. I’ve tried to do what’s right and loving and serve those around me, even when they didn’t deserve it. That’s why I take a lot of pride in my standing as a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish ruling council. God has given me authority among my people, and I take that very seriously. Overall, I think I’m a pretty good person, certainly better than most, and a very good religious teacher.

But this Jesus fellow… I don’t know what to make of him. He seems so ordinary, but I’ve heard reports that he’s capable of performing incredible miracles. I can’t tell if he’s someone who can actually be trusted or if he’s just another religious fraud. You know, someone who says and does all the right things but has no real faith—a fake. God knows there’s so many of those around here lately. But I was so curious to know for sure. I thought if I could just have a conversation with him, then I could be certain.

And so I approached Jesus the other evening. I wanted to find out his agenda; what was he really up to? And he said something to me; it was very confusing. He said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” Now, what does that even mean? How can someone be born when they are old? Surely they can’t enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born? That’s crazy talk! None of that makes any sense… be born again?

And then Jesus continued talking about being born of water and the Spirit. It’s very confusing stuff. Even with all my religious training, the things Jesus said just don’t make sense. It’s as if he’s saying that being a part of God’s kingdom isn’t something that can be done naturally… not through study, or religious performance, or living a good life… which are all things I’ve done! No, being a part of God’s Kingdom is something that has to be received spiritually. It’s a spiritual gift of God—a gift for us to experience new life.

If I’m being honest, that’s very difficult for me to accept. But if it’s true—that Jesus offers a new life, a life that is full and eternal—well, that type of gift would be amazing. That would truly be good news.


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