Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:1-3
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17 NASB
Jesus was God and Savior. He was a seemingly insignificant child, born in poverty and placed in a manger on the first Christmas Day. He is the King of kings and the promised Messiah: the majestic, sinless son of God. God introduced His beloved son to lowly shepherds watching over their flocks outside the town of Bethlehem, the ancestral home of King David.
Nicodemus, described as a ruler of the Jews, which implied he was wealthy, well respected by his people, powerful and educated and well trained in the Old Testament law and tradition. He was searching for an answer to a nagging and difficult question. He secretly came to Jesus by night seeking to resolve this troublesome question: who was Jesus, the teacher from God?
Nicodemus’ question was centered on the relationship of Jesus and God. Jesus turned the question asked by Nicodemus into a dialogue about the need for man to have relationship with God – made possible only by a new birth by the Spirit of God – to enable man to enter into the kingdom of God. Nicodemus was confused and asked how a person could be born twice. Jesus shared with Nicodemus the new birth is through faith in God, not obtained through natural genealogy or works. He referred to His birth in Bethlehem as God’s physical manifestation given as a gift from Father God to man by explaining: “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.” John 3:12-13 NASB
The natural birth of Jesus, son of God, was for the purpose to bring man salvation – a spiritual new birth from above, only obtained by faith in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told Nicodemus: “so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.”John 3:15 NASB
God took upon Himself humanity on the first Christmas in the person of Jesus, who was both man and God, expressing God’s love through humanity to us. We can only understand this revelation revealed by the Holy Spirit of God. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus: Emmanuel, God with us, who loves us.