John 3:2-3 —”The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus was afraid, or ashamed to be seen with Christ, therefore he ‘came to Jesus by night’. (When religion is out of fashion, we may see many Nicodemites.) Although he was one of the Pharisees i.e. a ruler of Jews, Jesus welcomed him and in this way taught us to encourage good beginnings, even if we appear weak. The result of Jesus’ behavior to him was that though he came by night at this time, later he owned Christ publicly. When Nicodemus the Pharisee came to meet Christ, he did not talk about state affairs. He only addressed the concerns of his own soul and its salvation. Our Saviour spoke of the necessity and nature of regeneration or the new birth. Jesus directed Nicodemus to the source of holiness of the heart.
Birth is the beginning of life. By our first birth we were corrupt in sin; therefore we needed to be made into new creatures. We needed a great and most remarkable change of state and character. We must be entirely different from what we were before.
To be born again is, to begin to live anew, especially for those who live their lives with much amiss, parallel to the Word or with little purpose. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. This new birth is from heaven, and its tendency is to heaven. (John 1:12-13). It happens when the power of the Holy Spirit makes a great change in the heart of a sinner. It means that something is done in us, and for us, which we cannot do for ourselves. This new life begins and then shall last for ever. This is our benefit by Christ; it is necessary to our happiness here and in our hereafter.
Christ confirmed to Nicodemus that unless a man was born again through the power of the Holy Spirit, he could not see the kingdom of God. When we read the Bible and spend time with God in prayer, we are convicted of our sins, we are convinced to repent of our sins, our faith increases and we want to follow God’s Word. This leads us to want for something – a closer walk with God. A new relationship with God. “But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”