In John 3, Nicodemus said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that you’re a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Now, that might seem like an odd reply since Nicodemus didn’t mention the kingdom. But Jesus not only responded to Nick’s statement, He declared His authority as God.
“Truly” or “Verily” in Hebrew is the word “amen.” Yes, that word we tack on to the end of prayers. It means “so be it.” For a gathering to conclude a prayer or preaching with “Amen” means to be in agreement with everything that was said.
But for Jesus to put this word at the start of his answer, it takes on a different meaning. When Jesus said “Truly, I say to you,” He was saying, “I am a firsthand witness that what I say to you is the truth,” as if He was there in the beginning when all truth was established.
Because He was! Jesus is the author of truth. John 1:3 says, “All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” Colossians 1:16 says, “For by Him, all things were created… whether throne or dominions or rulers or authorities.”
So when Nicodemas said, “We know you are a teacher come from God,” Jesus responded as if to say, “I am God, and no one gets to God unless He is born of God.” In every gospel, Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you,” all divine claims to being the way, the truth, and the life, when we understand the text.