Chris, Joy and Gizmo hit the slopes on a ski trip with the church youth group. Chris begins to grapple with what it really means to be a Christian. As Chris ponders this, Superbook suddenly appears to transport Chris, Joy and Gizmo to Jerusalem at Passover time. There, they meet Nicodemus, a respected Pharisee and Jewish teacher. In the dark of night, the children follow Nicodemus, to secretly meet with Jesus and learn that everyone must be born again to see the Kingdom of God. Upon his return home, Chris takes a leap of faith to follow Jesus and become a Christian. John 3:1
Chris and Joy learn what it means to be born again.
Nicodemus saw something different about Jesus. He watched in amazement as Jesus performed miracles. While the other Pharisees mocked and rejected Jesus' teaching; Nicodemus had to pursue the truth. He secretly visited Jesus one night to find out more. Nicodemus was astonished and confused by what Jesus told him about entering into God's kingdom. Could he, being an old man, really be born again in his mother's womb? Did his position as a highly respected Jewish leader mean nothing? Some time later, Nicodemus stood up for Jesus when the other Pharisees condemned Him.
Levi and Enoch were self-righteous and proud Pharisees. Most Pharisees were more interested in following the letter of the law instead of discovering the truth of Jesus' Word. Levi and Enoch were shamed and silenced as they witnessed how Jesus set people free--even on the Sabbath day!
Jesus is revealed in the Bible as the Son of God. He was first given this title by Gabriel, who spoke to Mary, saying: “So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). After Jesus was baptized by John, God said, “This is my dearly beloved Son, who brings me great joy." As the Son of God, Jesus was all powerful on earth. He healed the sick, cast out demons, walked on water, calmed the sea, and had the authority to forgive sins.
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
Jesus Speaks With Nicodemus
Chris Accepts Jesus Into His Life
Nicodemus - The Salvation Poem
Q & A
How can I be saved?
Nicodemus had to know more. He couldn't have imagined what Jesus was about to tell him. Here he was, a respected teacher and Pharisee leader at an old age. Surely this would mean something as far as entering God's kingdom. Jesus wasted no time in telling him what was required; simply, he must be born again.
All of Nicodemus’ education, teaching, knowledge of the Law, good deeds, and giving did not give him entrance into the Kingdom to secure him a place in heaven for eternity. Only a new birth by God's Word and Spirit could do that. (John:3:5-7). What a humbling and confusing moment this must have been for Nicodemus. (John:3:1-16. Ephesians:2:8-9 is clear that nothing we do by our flesh, in other words, by our own effort or power, can obtain salvation for us. It is only accomplished by God's Spirit.
What does it mean to be born again? It is a spiritual rebirth, starting a brand-new life in the Spirit. All we need to do is believe and trust in Jesus and the work He did on the cross. When we confess Him as our Lord and Savior, the Bible says that we become a new person in Christ. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians:5:17)
Titus 3:5 says it so well; "He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit." Isn't that fantastic? Jesus’ instructions were not just for Nicodemus; everyone must be reborn by God's Spirit; there are no other options that God gave us to enter His spiritual kingdom.
Jesus explained to Nicodemus, it isn't about a natural birth, it is about a supernatural birth by God's Spirit. Though no one can fully understand how it happens, we believe by faith what the Holy Spirit does inside us as we trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. (Romans:10:9).
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Why did Jesus come to earth?
So, what exactly was Jesus' purpose for leaving perfection in heaven to come to earth? Very simply, Jesus came in obedience to God's plan to rescue us and set us free from sin and bondage, so we might serve Him on this earth and live with Him in heaven for all of eternity! That's a mouthful isn't it? John 3:16-19 says this about God's plan and Jesus' purpose: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil."
God has one way to escape His judgment and punishment for sin; through belief in Jesus, His only Son. This was Jesus' purpose and mission that He perfectly fulfilled. Jesus came to save us not to condemn and punish us. Mankind is hopelessly lost and trapped in sin; God gives us a choice to remain in darkness or come to the light of Jesus and be free! Jesus’ purpose Is revealed in one verse: Luke 19:10 says, "The Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost."
While on the earth, Jesus forgave sins and set people free from all kinds of bondage and disease. Jesus caused an uproar with the Pharisees when He healed a woman on the Sabbath day who had been in bondage for eighteen years. He even chose to do this in the Synagogue! Jesus incensed the religious leaders again when He healed a man who had a disease that caused his arms and legs to swell – this time, at a Pharisee’s home! (Luke:13:10-16, Luke:14:1-6). Nicodemus took note of these miracles and knew deep in his heart that God had sent Jesus and was working through Him.
Jesus stated what He was all about in Luke 4:18. “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, for He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free." Jesus knew what He came to Earth to do. His mission is to set people free in this world and for all of eternity.
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How can I bring attention to Jesus?
In John 3:14-15, Jesus told Nicodemus that He must be lifted up: "And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life." What was Jesus talking about? He was referring to a time in the Old Testament when God’s people had left Egypt and were in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land.
The people had spoken against God and Moses. God punished them by sending poisonous snakes among them to bite them. Many Israelites were bitten and died. Then God told Moses to put a bronze snake on a pole and hold it up, so all the people could see it. Whoever was bitten and looked up at the snake, lived. (Numbers:21:4-9)
In the world today, people are "bitten" by temptation and sin. Some choose to rebel against God and sin rather than obey His Word. Is there any cure? Do they need to look at a bronze snake again? Certainly not; it’s all about looking to Jesus to be saved. Jesus said that He must be lifted up so all can see Him and live instead of dying in their sin.
So, how do we lift Jesus up? We lift up Jesus by our words and also by our actions; by the way we live our daily lives.
Jesus says in Matthew 5:14-16 that we are the light of e world; like a city on a hilltop that can't be hidden. The light we have inside is Jesus and we must share that light, so others can look to Jesus and be saved. In verse 16, Jesus says to let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise God. By our words and actions, we lift up Jesus.
When John the Baptist was hanging out with his followers or disciples, Jesus was walking toward him, John said, "Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29). We must tell others who Jesus is and what He has done. We must not call attention to ourselves; instead, we must point to Jesus and give Him all credit and praise for what He is doing in us.
Jesus told us that if we are ashamed to lift Him up, that He will be ashamed of us when He returns to Earth from heaven. (Luke:9:26) The world needs to know about Jesus, and He has given us the powerful Gospel message to share so all can be set free to live for Him here and forever in heaven. 1 Peter 1:15 says, "Instead, worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it."
Another way we can lift up Jesus is through our praise and worship.
The Psalmist David talked about this in Psalm 145:1-2: “I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise Your name forever and ever. I will praise You every day; yes, I will praise You forever." So, we see that by our words, actions, and by our worship, we can lift up Jesus.
When Jesus said to Nicodemus that He must be lifted up, He was also predicting His coming death on the cross. Jesus was lifted up and died to save us all. (1 Peter:2:24) Jesus willingly allowed Himself to be raised on the cross out of love for us. Now, out of love, honor, and thanksgiving, we must lift Him up for all to see!
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What is the Sabbath day for?
How did the idea of the Sabbath, the day of rest begin? Genesis 2:1-3 says, “So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation.”
God does not require rest or grow weary, yet, He chose to take the time to step back and admire His fabulous creation over the past six days. God knows that we, as frail humans, need a time to step back from all of our work and responsibilities to rest. In this time, we can admire God and His creation, and recharge and strengthen ourselves.
In the Bible, we read many times where Jesus modeled this to His disciples and to us. He purposefully withdrew from the crowds and His disciples to spend time and relax with God. In this time, He received instructions and strength for the day’s journey. (Luke:5:16, Mark:1:35, Luke:9:28, Mark:6:30-32)
We, too, should do as Jesus did each day.
However, God also requires us to take one special day each week to honor Him and to pause from our many activities and responsibilities. In this time, we can renew ourselves physically, spiritually, and emotionally. This is God’s directive not to burden us, but to bless and benefit us.
Jesus infuriated the religious leaders, particularly the Pharisees by healing people on the Sabbath. They were not excited to see people who had been sick and bound for many years, be set free! No, Jesus, in their minds, broke the rules!
But, Jesus had come to set people free; no matter what day it was; this was His mission! He often rebuked the Pharisees for their criticism, self-righteousness, and hypocrisy. (Matthew:23:1-36) In Luke 13: 10-17. Jesus silenced the Pharisees when they became angry that He healed a woman on the Sabbath day in the Synagogue! “But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day!
Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water? This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn't it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?” (Luke:13: 15-17) Jesus was saying that there was actually no better day than the Lord’s day to set someone free from bondage!
The same applies for today! Verse 17 says, “This shamed His enemies, but all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things He did.” Soon after, Jesus was at it again, much to the displeasure of the Pharisees. He healed a man on the Sabbath day, and this time in a Pharisee’s home! Jesus asked the Pharisees if they believed it was legal to heal on the Sabbath? They remained silent. Jesus promptly took hold of the man, healed him and sent him on his way! (Luke:14:1-4) “Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” And they had nothing to say.” (Luke:14:5-6)
In Matthew 12: 1-14, Jesus once again encountered the wrath and hypocrisy of the Pharisees. They took issue when Jesus and His disciples walked through a grain field and his disciples picked wheat to eat when they were hungry. How dare they strengthen and nourish themselves on the Sabbath! Jesus silenced them by reminding them of the Scripture when King David ate the bread on the Sabbath in the Temple. “I tell you, there is one here who is even greater than the Temple! But you would not have condemned My innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!” (Matthew:12:6-8)
In this same account in the book of Mark, Jesus tells us the purpose of the Sabbath. Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So, the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!” (Mark:2:27-28)
Yes, Jesus declared Himself Lord of the Sabbath—He, not them, would determine how to observe God’s Holy day made for man! His desire was for them to show mercy to others and help them instead of performing their ritualistic and self-righteous acts of worship. Soon afterward, on the Sabbath, the Pharisees tried to trap Him.
Jesus was unmoved and healed a man’s lame hand in the Synagogue. He told them it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath. At this point, the Pharisees had seen enough, and they plotted to kill Him! (Matthew:12:9-14)
There is much discussion and disagreement even today on how the Sabbath day is to be observed. What we do know is that it is a holy day unto God, to honor and worship Him, and to do good to others.
It is also a day created specifically for us, not to weigh us down with rules, but to give us a day each week to rest and gain strength. God intended this day to be a blessing and not a burden to His children!
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Does Jesus have time for me?
Nicodemus came to Jesus in the dark of the night to talk one on one. He had questions and concerns about Jesus and His ministry that conflicted with the Jewish traditions and Law he had studied, taught, lived, and led others to follow. Nicodemus’ fellow Pharisees were highly offended by Jesus and plotted to stop His ministry; what was the truth—he must know!
Did Jesus turn Nicodemus’ away because he was a Pharisee also? Absolutely not; Jesus made Himself accessible and engaged in conversation with him. Without a doubt, Jesus’ words were not what he expected; but never the less, Jesus talked with him. Jesus will always tell us what we need to hear—not necessarily what we want to hear! (John:3:1-16)
In Revelation 3:20, we see how Jesus longs and waits to spend time with us. He never will “break the door to our heart down”, or force us to spend time with Him, but he knocks and patiently waits for us to willingly open the door to welcome Him. "Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” What a wonderful thing to know that Jesus comes to us!
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus welcomes us to come to give us rest and strength. “Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Jesus was truly on a mission for God; His time was limited, but He made time for even the children! Luke 18:15-16 says: “One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so He could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering Him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to Me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.”
There are countless examples recorded in the Bible of Jesus spending time with people that others had no time for. Zacchaeus, blind Bartimaeus, and the woman with the issue of blood; to name just a few. (Luke:19:1-10, Mark:10:47-52, Luke:8:43-48)
And, if all of this isn't exciting enough, we can be confident knowing that our relationship with Him will ever change or come to an end. Jesus will never move away from us. He is with us now and is preparing for us to live with Him forever! “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” (John:14:1-4)
How much of an impact did Jesus’ spending time with Nicodemus have? Nicodemus, along with another Pharisee, named Joseph of Arimathea, publicly took Jesus body from the cross after He died. Nicodemus brought expensive spices and ointments to prepare Jesus’ body for burial and they laid Him in the tomb. (John:19: 39-40)
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