John 3:1 – Jesus instructs Nicodemus about the new birth

Published On: 23 de June de 2022Categories: Bible Study

Meaning of the Name Nicodemus

The meaning of the name Nicodemus is: conqueror of the people. Nicodemus appears in the holy bible in the gospel of John 3:1. 

Who was Nicodemus?

John 3:1 Nicodemus was a Pharisee and on the board of Jewish leaders.

And there was a man among the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, prince of the Jews.

The conversation of Nicodemus and Jesus 

In the Gospel of John, we have the narrative with very rich details of Nicodemus‘ encounter with Jesus. What he heard about Jesus aroused in Nicodemus a great interest in knowing who this man called Jesus was and so he decides to look for him to talk alone with Jesus.

This meeting took place at night and in secret, Nicodemus probably wanted to avoid the comments of his colleagues. Nicodemus when talking to Jesus, shows great respect and consideration for Jesus and the miracles proved his teachings recognizing him as coming from God.

John 3:2 – This man came to Jesus by night, and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher, coming from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God be with him.

Jesus then replies to Nicodemus, that those who wanted to reach the kingdom of God needed to be born again. Faced with this response from Jesus, we see that Nicodemus cannot understand about this second birth. Jesus then explains about the necessity of the operation of the Holy Spirit in the life of the individual in order to see the kingdom of God.

We observed how perplexed Nicodemus was in the face of the things he heard and Jesus highlights dialogue even though Nicodemus was the leader of Israel, he could not understand those teachings.

John 3:3-10 — Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born?

Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Do not marvel that I have said to you: it is necessary for you to be born again.

The wind blows where it wants, and you hear its voice, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it goes; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Nicodemus answered, and said to him: How can this be?

Jesus answered, and said unto him, Art thou a teacher of Israel, and knowest not this?

Nicodemus’ problem was certainly not in things understood, that is, in earthly things, but the problem was in not understanding spiritual things, it seemed difficult for Nicodemus to believe in the Son of God in his crucifixion and his death.

 Gospel of John Chapter 3 Verses 13 and 14

In the same way that the brazen serpent was lifted up on a pole, Christ would be lifted up on the cross. If we look to Him, we will have eternal life.

Understand that the serpent that Moses lifted up there in the wilderness had a pole. The word Stem means: stick or straight iron erected in which something is embedded or supported; stem. In the same way that Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, Christ Jesus at the time of the crucifixion would be lifted up on a cross. And when we look to Jesus, we are not condemned to perish, but we receive eternal life. 

John 3:13-15 – Now no one has ascended into heaven, except he who came down from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the son of man be lifted up; so that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

We don’t know for sure if Nicodemus believed in Jesus Christ, because the text does not clarify anything about it, but if we look at some passages, we will see that Nicodemus:

Have “defended” when some of the Pharisees were looking for a way to condemn Jesus.

John 7:50-53 Nicodemus, who was one of them (the one who came to Jesus by night), said to them, does our law condemn a man without first hearing him and knowing what he does? They answered and said to him, Art thou also from Galilee? Examine, and you will see that from Galilee no prophet has arisen. And each one went to his house.

After the death of Jesus Christ, we see Nicodemus together with Joseph of Arimathea helping to remove the body of the Son of God from the Cross and placed in the tomb. 

John 19:38-42 – After this Joseph of Arimathea (who was a disciple of Jesus, but hidden for fear of the Jews) begged Pilate to allow him to take the body of Jesus. And Pilate allowed it. So he went and took the body of Jesus.

And so also Nicodemus (he who had formerly come to Jesus by night), carrying nearly a hundred pounders of a compound of myrrh and aloes.

So they took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in linen cloths with spices, as the Jews are wont to do, in preparation for the tomb.

And there was a garden in that place where he was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been laid.

There therefore (because of the preparation of the Jews, and because that tomb was near) they laid Jesus.

The bible does not report with complete clarity whether Nicodemus secretly became a Christian.

Perhaps the proximity of Nicodemus with Joseph of Arimathea generated an identification with the same faith and, at the same time, in the fear of the Jews

May God bless your life and make you grow more and more in faith, grace and knowledge!

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Written by : Ministério Veredas Do IDE

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