Ellen G. White Writings

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From the Heart, Page 258

Nicodemus, September 3

Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3.

Nicodemus held a high position of trust in the Jewish nation. He was highly educated and possessed talents of no ordinary character. With others, he had been stirred by the teaching of Jesus of Galilee. Though rich, learned, and honored, he had been strangely attracted by the humble Nazarene. The lessons, so new and strange, which had fallen from the lips of this Teacher had greatly impressed him, and he resolved to seek Jesus, that he might learn more of these wonderful truths.

But he did not visit Jesus by day; it would have been too humiliating for a ruler of the Jews to acknowledge himself in sympathy with a teacher as yet so little known. Learning by special inquiry where Jesus would be likely to retire for the night, he waited till the city was hushed in slumber and then sought Him.

“Rabbi,” he said, “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.” By speaking of Christ's rare gifts as a teacher and also of His wonderful power to perform miracles, he hoped to pave the way for his interview. But in His infinite wisdom, Christ saw before Him a seeker after truth. He knew the real object of the visit, and with a desire to deepen the conviction already resting upon His listener's mind, He came directly to the point, saying solemnly yet kindly, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

This was a very humiliating statement to Nicodemus, and with a feeling of irritation he took up the words of Christ, saying, “How can a man be born when he is old?” But the Savior did not meet argument with argument. Raising His hand with solemn, quiet dignity, He pressed the truth home with greater assurance, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” ...

In this memorable interview, Christ laid down principles of the greatest importance to everyone. He defined the terms of salvation in clear terms and emphasized the necessity for a new life.... To everyone who names the name of Christ, who has decided to follow the meek and lowly Jesus, just as truly as to the Jewish ruler, these words are addressed, “Ye must be born again.”—Youth's Instructor, September 2, 1897.

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