Key Passage: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Big Picture Question: How do you know God loves you? God sent Jesus to save us.
Christ Connection: Jesus taught Nicodemus about God’s kingdom. God loves the world, and He sent Jesus to earth to rescue people from sin. Jesus said that people who believe in Him will be with God forever.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Over the next four weeks, kids are going to learn about Jesus’ early ministry. In today’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.
Family Activity: Share with each of your children a baby book or other keepsakes you have of his or her birth. Tell your testimony—how you became a Christian and how your life has changed. Jesus told Nicodemus he needed to be “born again.” Explain that people need to be “born again” because sin makes us spiritually dead, but Jesus give us new life.