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Why Nicodemus? Because We Are All Nicodemus

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I think most of us have experienced impatience, even annoyance, when a little child continually asks “why?” I don’t mean the type of “why?” in response to a parent’s directive. When a child seeks understanding, wants to comprehend what is being shared with them: “But why?” 

I will never forget as a kid asking my mom “why” the Bible does not mention us getting to play hockey in heaven. At that age, if hockey was not going to be part of the deal, I did not want to go!

I have also been one of those “why-children” when it comes to reading the Word of God—continually asking “why this and not that?” with many of the biblical stories. Why was Canaan the nation that God promised to Abraham and his descendants? Why Canaan and not Egypt? Why didn’t God allow Jonathan to become the next king of Israel after rejecting Saul? Why not keep it in the family? 

When I ponder these questions, it is not because I am distrusting God and questioning His wisdom. They are coming from a place of hunger, desiring understanding as to His ways.

In reading John 3, I wonder why this conversation was with Nicodemus instead of one of the twelve disciples? To many, is the most recognizable verse of all time. Why did the Lord reserve this revelation for a Pharisee late at night, instead of sharing it with all the disciples in a communal setting? Learning that we must be born again leads to the most crucial decision we will ever make in this life. Yet, here we see Nicodemus, while having the courage to come to Jesus and admit they recognized He was sent from God, approaching Him at night to avoid being seen by others. 

Could it be because the Lord saw his hunger and recognized where his questions were stemming from? One can easily relate to the questions Nicodemus asked Jesus when told that he must be born again:

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked ( ). 

To this question, Jesus responds with the discourse that is the bedrock of our salvation. Nicodemus, seeking to understand, opened the door for Jesus to share what was greater than human logic: His love for him/us and the price He would pay to prove it. It is by believing in Jesus that we experience what it means to truly be born again. In this moment, Jesus was focused on Nicodemus believing and being born again. 

What questions are currently in your heart that you are asking God? Be assured, the revelation that He wants to give you through these questions is life-changing. While He may not answer every question, it is His delight that you are seeking understanding! ( )


Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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About The Author


Rich Miller is the Manager of Digital Interactions in the Prayer Center and has been with CBN since 2011. He and his wife live near Columbus, OH and enjoy the outdoors, watching crime dramas and playing video games. An avid history buff, Rich loves studying church history and the parallels we can draw to modern day Christianity.

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