It was a dark night in the city of Jerusalem. The streets were almost empty as Nicodemus made his way to the place where Jesus was. Questions raced through his mind. He had seen Jesus do miracles, but was Jesus really the Son of God? I must talk to Him, Nicodemus thought. I must find out for myself.
Nicodemus was an important man in the city. But when he stood before Jesus, he could tell that this Man was Someone very special. Nicodemus said to Jesus, "I know that You are a teacher from God. Otherwise You would not be able to do the miracles You have done "
Jesus did not say anything about Nicodemus' words. But what He did say puzzled Nicodemus. He said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Born again? Nicodemus thought, How could this be? A person could only be born one time. After he was grown up, could he go back to being a newborn baby again? Nicodemus was thinking about how we were born here on earth. So he asked Jesus what He meant.
Jesus explained that He was not talking about the kind of birth when a new little baby comes into the world. He meant that, because of our sins, the wrong things we say and do, our hearts are not clean. They must be made clean and new so we can go to Heaven. This is what Jesus called being "born again."
Jesus told Nicodemus these things because He loved him. He wanted Nicodemus to go to Heaven. Their talk happened a long time ago, but the words Jesus spoke are still true. If we want to be ready to go to Heaven, we must be born again.
How does this happen? The Bible tells us to pray to God and tell Him we are sorry for all the wrong things we have done. We tell Him we don't ever want to do them again. If we really mean that, God knows. Then He washes all the sin from our hearts. He does a good job! When He is done, it's just like we have a new heart.
We will know when that happens. We feel clean and happy deep inside. We have a great big love for God in our hearts. And we only want to do things that will make Him happy. It feels so good to have a clean heart!
Jesus loves each one of us, just like He loved Nicodemus. He wants us to go to Heaven too! We must make sure that our hearts are clean so that we will be able to go to Heaven.
Get out some pictures of your child when he was newborn. Tell him how happy you were when he was born into the family.
Use this as a springboard for a discussion of what it means to have our sins forgiven and be born into God's family. God, our heavenly Father, is happy about that, just as earthly parents are happy when a new baby comes into their family.
Write the words to this week's memory verse in a large white heart and post it on your refrigerator. Remind your child to read the verse out loud each time he opens the refrigerator.