Many people believed in Jesus because of the things He did. There were no other explanations. The next story John shares with his readers shows how one man who believed on account of the signs, is drawn into further understanding. Reflecting on this passage, we will find out about Nicodemus, the details of his encounter with Jesus, and the words of Jesus to him.
Jesus and Nicodemus
The man we read about in John 3 is a Pharisee. They were a Jewish sect which followed strict adherence to the law and taught others to do so as well. Jesus was often hard on these teachers who by their laws made it impossible for people to enter the kingdom of God. He is considered a ruler of the Jews. He has seen Jesus in action and knows that apart from God, the miracles Jesus did, would have been impossible.
His Encounter With Jesus
He didn’t come to Jesus when people could see him. Instead he came at night. The signs Jesus did revealed to him that somehow there was a God connection. It was enough to make him curious. Here under the cloak of darkness, he makes his confession “You are a teacher come from God for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with Him.’
He has much to learn. Jesus tells him, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” What Jesus declared made absolutely no sense to him. He inquires further of Jesus revealing his lack of spiritual understanding, “How can this be?” Jesus explains a bit further. Unless you are born of water and of the Spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.” It’s not really all that complicated Nicodemus. Think about the wind. You hear it blowing wherever it chooses but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It is the same with the Spirit.
This was only the beginning. The God life is a life of the Spirit. The kingdom of Heaven is a spiritual kingdom. Jesus was drawing Nicodemus from his initial understanding of God. It was a critical foundational truth. Reflecting on this passage, we have learned about Nicodemus, the details of his encounter with Jesus, and the words of Jesus to him.