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Nicodemus had read the scriptures but only now began to understand them.  He saw that strict obedience of the law would not earn anyone a place in heaven.  By human standards, his life and behavior were practically perfect.  But standing next to Jesus, he felt unclean and unholy.

Jesus answered with an illustration that Nicodemus understood.  “Just as Moses lifted up  the snake in the desert, the Son of Man must also be lifted up.  So that everyone who believes can have eternal life in Him’ ” (John 13:14, 15).

Nicodemus understood.  He began to study Scripture in a different manner ~ not to have more knowledge for more discussions, but to fill his own soul with God’s love and His saving power.  He began to listen to the Holy Spirit.

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