There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus who was a ruler among the Jews. He taught the Law of Moses to the people and had a place of authority among them.
As rumors of the miracles of Jesus began to spread, Nicodemus felt inspired to find Jesus and talk with Him. Under the cover of night, he went to where Jesus was staying, hoping that none of the other Pharisees would find out.
After casting several glances over his shoulder, Nicodemus knocked quietly on the door. A disciple answered and let him in. Jesus and His disciples sat around a table, talking.
When Nicodemus saw Jesus, he sat down with Him and said, “Rabbi, we know that you must be sent from God because no one else could perform such miracles without the power of God.”
Jesus looked at this eager Pharisee, discerning the intentions of Nicodemus. “Truly, one must be born again in order to understand the kingdom of God,” He answered.
Nicodemus felt surprised, then confused. He asked, “How can one be born again when he is already a man? It is not possible to return to my mother’s womb.”
Jesus shook his head, smiling at the ridiculous idea. “You have misunderstood. All people must be born of water and the Spirit if they wish to enter the kingdom of God. Physical bodies are born from other physical bodies. Spiritual life is born from the Spirit, through baptism.”
Nicodemus remained silent, staring at the candle burning on the table. He was still confused. Sensing that Nicodemus did not understand, Jesus continued.
“Do not be surprised that I said you must be born again. Baptism allows you to hear the Spirit. It’s like the wind. You can hear and feel its influence although you cannot see it.”
“How can this be?” asked Nicodemus, struggling to understand Jesus’ teachings.
“Aren’t you a teacher of the Jews?” asked Jesus, His eyes penetrating Nicodemus.
Nicodemus shifted uncomfortably in his chair.
“I have told you of baptism, a physical act, and you do not understand. How can I hope to teach you of spiritual things?” Jesus asked. “God loved the world, so He sent His Son. Whoever believes in Him will not die, but will have eternal life.”