Thank you for starting this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Over the next four weeks in Sunday School, kids are going to learn about Jesus’ early ministry. In this week’s Bible story, Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin—a Jewish governing body—visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus was part of an exclusive group of religious elite. Nicodemus believed that if a person was a law-abiding Jew, then he would be accepted by God. Jesus turned this belief system on its head.
Jesus’ words perplexed Nicodemus: “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). For a moment, Nicodemus actually wondered if Jesus was saying that someone must crawl back into the womb! Jesus explained that spiritual birth is not unlike physical birth: a person cannot do it himself. It is something that happens to him.
Jesus reminded Nicodemus of the Old Testament account of the disobedient Israelites and the bronze snake. The Israelites could not help themselves, but when they trusted in God and looked to the bronze snake lifted up on the pole, they were healed. (Num. 21:4-9)
Every person is born a sinner. It is by God’s Spirit—not our own effort—that we are born again. Without Jesus, we are spiritually dead. Sin separates us from God. When people believe in Christ and are “born again,” they receive new life and become God’s children. Jesus offers new life to those who trust in Him for salvation.