2011-03-19 - Nicodemus
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." John 3:3 (NIV)
Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a teacher, and a member of the Jewish ruling council. The word Pharisee meant "separated ones." There were about 6,000 Pharisees at the time of Jesus. These men were teachers in the synagogues, and they were responsible for the Jewish law and its observances. Their decisions often carried the same weight as the Scriptures.
So it was significant when Nicodemus, a Pharisee, went to Jesus at night and questioned Jesus about His teachings and miracles. Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again. Jesus went on to explain to Nicodemus how one must be born of the water and the Spirit. When Nicodemus still didn't understand, Jesus put it plainly - that He would die for our sins, so that we may have eternal life.
Like Nicodemus, we sometimes get wrapped up in rules and regulations. We try to rely on our own efforts to earn our way into Heaven. We often fail and become discouraged. But as Jesus told Nicodemus, the most important thing is to be born again. By relying on God's Spirit, we will have eternal life because of Jesus' death and resurrection.