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  The Great Bible Story #95
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A Pharisee seeks out Jesus

Jacob Ninan
The Pharisees who were a group of Hebrew religious scholars who focussed on the external observation of the Law and considered themselves to be holier than everyone else were greatly upset with Jesus who looked at the core of spiritual issues and thereby exposed their hypocrisy. One of them called Nicodemus could recognise that there was something special about Jesus. But he could not risk letting his friends know that he was interested in Jesus. So he came once in the darkness of the night to meet Jesus. Jesus sensed that this was a genuine enquirer and agreed to spend time with him. Nicodemus admitted to Jesus that he thought He was a teacher from God because no one else could do such miracles. Knowing how much the Pharisees were knowledgeable in theology, without beating around the bush Jesus came straight to the point. He told Nicodemus that there was no way anyone could enter the kingdom of God except through being born again. He made the statement even stronger by saying that people could not even understand what the kingdom of God was except after being born again.

Nicodemus was shocked because he was thinking of how impossible it was to be physically born a second time! But Jesus explained that what He meant was a spiritual birth. It would be the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a man who had heard the word of God and responded to it.

What Nicodemus found difficult to understand at that time, we can understand now because we have the advantage of all the scriptures that have been written after that. It is because all people are born into this world as children of Adam with a sinful nature, that we need to be born again. When we hear the word of God proclaiming the salvation of God, we recognise ourselves as sinners in His sight and gladly receive the free offer of forgiveness from God. It is then that the Holy Spirit does a supernatural of regeneration of our spirit and we are born again. We who were dead in sin and disconnected from God are now adopted as His children through the undeserved mercy (grace) which He shows upon us. This is what it means to be 'born again'. Now it is clear that without being born again no one can qualify for heaven, however good they think they are, or how many good things they have done in their lives. The fact of the matter is that their sinful nature has to be replaced with a new life from God.


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Comfort & Counsel