Russia Religion Subjects Jesus Christ Christ and Nicodemus

Christ and Nicodemus

The Book of John describes the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus: “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, ‘Rabbi, 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.’ Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’” (John 3:1–3).

The conversation between Christ and Nicodemus is a key Gospel subject and inspired many Russian artists, including Alexander Ivanov and Nikolai Ge. Ilya Repin depicted the confrontation of two philosophies, represented by Jesus’ frank austerity and Nicodemus’s timorous servility. The psychological magnitude of the two images is such that the scene can be taken to apply to a vast number of different situations in life.

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