John 3:1-5 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus 3 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.
Thursday - March 11
A Pharisee was a Jewish leader who studied the Law of Moses and interpreted it for others. This Pharisee, named Nicodemus, was curious about Jesus, but not ready to show that publicly, so he visited Jesus by night. But night-time is also symbolic of the lack of faith. Nicodemus is interested in learning from Jesus, but does not have faith in Jesus. The new birth of faith cannot come from inside of us. It is not something that we are born into or figure out on our own. Just like our first birth, the new birth of faith is something that is done to us. This time by God. How? Baptism! The Spirit of God delivers to you the promise of God’s forgiveness and grace attached to the dull, normal, ordinary physical “stuff” of water! You can’t “get” that with more hard work or rule keeping. You can’t figure it out with greater intellect or knowledge. It is a free gift delivered to you that you receive by faith!