Nicodemus, a religious teacher and leader in Israel, has seen the mighty works of Jesus and came to Him one night with questions. The Jews had been re-gathered after the Babylonian exile. Their spiritual cleansing and transformation was being overseen by his affiliates…but they were all waiting for a triumphant Messiah, who would lead their nation into preeminence and glory. The Jews of this day believed that God would condemn the Gentile for his sin, but save the Jew despite his sin because they followed the Law. Jesus came to show the Jew that “…by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His (God’s) sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin”… in other words, it did not have the power to transform their sin natures. He told Nicodemus ” You must be born – again”.
We can only be born-again and receive the required righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ…. a radical conversion by the Spirit of God. Nicodemus clearly does not understand the truth about the new birth. Jesus goes on to quote what is to become the most famous verse in the Bible and is found in John 3:16. Belief in Jesus is more than awareness or agreement of facts . It is a willingness to surrender my whole being to the truth that Jesus came to die and shed His Blood to atone for my sin, of which I am sorry for, and am willing to forsake. This is what God requires for me to be forgiven and to be adopted into His family…the only WAY that is provided. Jesus also proved His claim to be God by resurrecting from the grave. A way you can explain this to kids is by pointing to chair in the room and stating, ” I can believe yonder piece of furniture is indeed a chair…but until put my full weight in it and trust that it will hold me, does it do me any good.”