The Pharisee was confused. After all, Jesus was teaching new ideas with authority. Use this simple, but profound, Nicodemus object lesson to teach the Truth of being born again.

Jesus and Nicodemus Object Lesson

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The Pharisee was confused. After all, Jesus was teaching new ideas with authority. Use this simple, but profound, Nicodemus object lesson to teach the Truth of being born again.

Scripture Focus: John 3:1-21


  • candles (I used electric.)
  • bowl of water {for my personal testimony, but you can use the concept}

Geography: Jerusalem

Background: After Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened up. The Holy Spirit took on the form of a dove and flew down to Jesus. God the Father spoke from heaven saying, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” The Spirit then led Jesus into the wilderness where He was tempted by Satan. He then began His ministry, found disciples for His inner circle, and started doing miracles.

Object and Bible Lesson for Nicodemus:

{Have the candles lit and the lights off before the children enter the room.}

The event we’re going to hear about today took place at night, but before that, I want to tell you about something Jesus did a few days earlier.

Jesus was in Jerusalem. It was time for the Passover celebration. Jerusalem would have been packed with people from the surrounding countries. Jesus went to the temple; and in the outer area He found tables and tables of money changers and people selling animals for sacrifices. Jesus found the materials to make a whip and He began to drive out the money changers, and the animals, from the temple. He also overturned the tables. Jesus told the people selling doves to, “Take these things away! Do not make my Father’s house a house of business!


  • Why would He be so upset? What was the purpose of the temple? (The temple was a place of worship. It is also possible that the business people were taking advantage of,or cheating, those who were visiting for Passover.)

The Jews were not happy with Jesus. “By what authority do you do these things?” they asked. Jesus responded with, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.


  • What was Jesus talking about? (His death on the cross and resurrection.)
  • What did the Jews think He meant? (The temple building)


One night, a man named Nicodemus came to Jesus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee, and a leader of the Sanhedrin. They had an interesting conversation. We don’t know why he came to Jesus at night. Maybe he had a busy day. Perhaps he wanted to see Jesus without all of the people around Him. Maybe Nicodemus did not want other people to see HIM talking to Jesus.

Whatever the reason, Jesus and Nicodemus had one of the most important conversations of all time.

{Read through John 3:1-21 preferably from the International Children’s Bible. Stop, explain, and ask questions as you read. Be sure to explain any vocabulary words that children might not know.}

After Verse 2:

Isn’t it great when Jesus totally ignores the question and goes straight to the person’s heart issue? Nicodemus has been watching Jesus do miracles and drive the money changers out. He knew that Jesus was someone different. MAYBE he thought that Jesus might be the Messiah.

After Verse 7:

Nicodemus knew that Jesus did not literally mean he needed to be born from his mother again. But what Jesus was telling him was new.

Jesus was telling Nicodemus that he needed to experience a birth of his spirit. A sinful person cannot be born of the spirit on their own. A person is born of water through a mother. And people are born of the spirit through Jesus. If a person does not do this, then he may not enter the kingdom of God.

After Verse 21:

Wasn’t that a strange conversation?

  • Were there some words that you recognized in those verses? (John 3:16)

Yes! John 3:16 comes from the conversation with Nicodemus. Here was a knowledgeable man of the scriptures. He had dedicated his entire life to learning and interpreting the words of God. He probably had books of the Old Testament memorized.

But one of the things Jesus told Nicodemus was that people testify, or witness, or tell people about, what they know and experience; what we see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. And Jesus explained that if Nicodemus wasn’t willing to believe what he saw Jesus doing, then why would he believe Jesus if He told Him things of heaven? Nicodemus can’t see heaven, or experience it without being born of the spirit. And then Jesus told Nicodemus the most quoted Bible verse telling him exactly how to experience eternal life.

A person has to be born again. It means allowing the Holy Spirit to wash you clean, and as a result, you live differently. And once you do that, then you experience the kingdom of God.

candlesLife Application of the Story of Nicodemus:

{This is a great time to either share your testimony, or some other time when you did “sense” and experience God do something in you. Here’s mine.}

When I was a kid I was filled with Bible knowledge, much like Nicodemus. He knew a lot more than me, but for a girl growing up in church, I knew a lot. I knew most of the stories of the Bible. I would win all of the Bible drills. I could recite the books of the Bible.

But that’s all it was. It was head knowledge. None of it had touched my heart, my soul. Then one night when I was in 7th grade, there were some people talking about Jesus at my church. And something was different. Something gripped me on the inside.

I knew I wasn’t right on the inside. I looked like a good church girl on the outside, but I knew I was sinful on the inside.

{Bring out the bowl of water.}

A man talked about how my heart was dirty with sin and that there was nothing I could do to wash the sin away. However, IF I believed that Jesus was real, that He was born, died on the cross, and came back to life three days later, THEN I would be born again. JESUS would be the One to wash my sin away.

He also talked about felling sorry for the wrong things I’d done. That my sin made me guilty. That I had wronged God.

When I chose to believe in Christ and KNEW He was my Savior, it was like Jesus took my heart and washed it with the water of the Spirit. My heart was changed. And I KNEW it!! I had experienced the saving power of God and I will never be the same again.

{Put your hands in the water and “wash” them.}

Just as we can wash our hands free from dirt, Jesus can wash your heart of sin and make you righteous. When you do this, you are born again.

We don’t go back inside our moms and go through the birthing process again.

Instead, our souls are made new, or born again, of the spirit.

Once you are made clean, you shouldn’t want to get all dirty again because Jesus died so we could have clean hearts.

In fact, once Jesus saves you, then you should want to tell everyone around you what He did by being baptized.


  • When we are born again, will we stop sinning? (No. We are still sinners, but we can now ask God to forgive us for our sins and be made clean again. We should try to not sin.)
  • So if we sin, do we have to born again all over again? (No. Once we are born again, and we seriously are choosing to have Jesus as our Master, then we try hard to not sin. But when we do fail, we can go straight to God, ask for forgiveness, and receive that forgiveness.)

What can we learn from the words of Jesus? God loved the world so much that He was willing to send Jesus, His Son, to die for our sins so that we might be born again.

The Pharisee was confused. After all, Jesus was teaching new ideas with authority. Use this simple, but profound, Nicodemus object lesson to teach the Truth of being born again.





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