A A A A A
Bible Book List

John 3:1-21 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

Jesus and Nicodemus

There was a man named Nicodemus who was one of the Pharisees. He was an important Jewish leader. One night Nicodemus came to Jesus. He said, “Teacher, we know that you are a teacher sent from God. No one can do the miracles you do, unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth. Unless you are born again, you cannot be in God’s kingdom.”

Nicodemus said, “But if a man is already old, how can he be born again? He cannot enter his mother’s body again. So how can he be born a second time?”

But Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth. Unless you are born from water and the Spirit, you cannot enter God’s kingdom. A person’s body is born from his human parents. But a person’s spiritual life is born from the Spirit. Don’t be surprised when I tell you, ‘You must all be born again.’ The wind blows where it wants to go. You hear the wind blow. But you don’t know where the wind comes from or where it is going. It is the same with every person who is born from the Spirit.”

Nicodemus asked, “How can all this be possible?”

10 Jesus said, “You are an important teacher in Israel. But you still don’t understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth. We talk about what we know. We tell about what we have seen. But you don’t accept what we tell you. 12 I have told you about things here on earth, but you do not believe me. So surely you will not believe me if I tell you about the things of heaven! 13 The only one who has ever gone up to heaven is the One who came down from heaven—the Son of Man.[a]

14 “Moses lifted up the snake in the desert.[b] It is the same with the Son of Man. The Son of Man must be lifted up too. 15 Then everyone who believes in him can have eternal life.

16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him. 18 He who believes in God’s Son is not judged guilty. He who does not believe has already been judged guilty, because he has not believed in God’s only Son. 19 People are judged by this fact: I am the Light from God that has come into the world. But men did not want light. They wanted darkness because they were doing evil things. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light. He will not come to the light because it will show all the evil things he has done. 21 But he who follows the true way comes to the light. Then the light will show that the things he has done were done through God.”

Footnotes:

  1. 3:13 the Son of Man Some Greek copies continue, “who is in heaven.”
  2. 3:14 Moses . . . desert. The people of Israel were dying from snake bites. God told Moses to put a bronze snake on a pole. The people who looked at the snake were healed (Numbers 21:4–9).
International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

John 3:1-21 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[e] 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[f] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[g]

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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Footnotes:

  1. John 3:3 The Greek for again also means from above; also in verse 7.
  2. John 3:6 Or but spirit
  3. John 3:7 The Greek is plural.
  4. John 3:8 The Greek for Spirit is the same as that for wind.
  5. John 3:13 Some manuscripts Man, who is in heaven
  6. John 3:14 The Greek for lifted up also means exalted.
  7. John 3:15 Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 21.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes