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Jesus and Nicodemus

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a Jewish leader. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could do these miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born anew,[a] it’s not possible to see God’s kingdom.”

Nicodemus asked, “How is it possible for an adult to be born? It’s impossible to enter the mother’s womb for a second time and be born, isn’t it?”

Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don’t be surprised that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ God’s Spirit[b] blows wherever it wishes. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It’s the same with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus said, “How are these things possible?”

10 “Jesus answered, “You are a teacher of Israel and you don’t know these things? 11 I assure you that we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you don’t receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Human One.[c] 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so must the Human One[d] be lifted up 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. 16 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. 17 God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him isn’t judged; whoever doesn’t believe in him is already judged, because they don’t believe in the name of God’s only Son.

19 “This is the basis for judgment: The light came into the world, and people loved darkness more than the light, for their actions are evil. 20 All who do wicked things hate the light and don’t come to the light for fear that their actions will be exposed to the light. 21 Whoever does the truth comes to the light so that it can be seen that their actions were done in God.”

John’s final witness

22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into Judea, where he spent some time with them and was baptizing. 23 John was baptizing at Aenon near Salem because there was a lot of water there, and people were coming to him and being baptized. (24 John hadn’t yet been thrown into prison.)

25 A debate started between John’s disciples and a certain Jew about cleansing rituals. 26 They came to John and said, “Rabbi, look! The man who was with you across the Jordan, the one about whom you testified, is baptizing and everyone is flocking to him.”

27 John replied, “No one can receive anything unless it is given from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said that I’m not the Christ but that I’m the one sent before him. 29 The groom is the one who is getting married. The friend of the groom stands close by and, when he hears him, is overjoyed at the groom’s voice. Therefore, my joy is now complete. 30 He must increase and I must decrease. 31 The one who comes from above is above all things. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all things. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever accepts his testimony confirms that God is true. 34 The one whom God sent speaks God’s words because God gives the Spirit generously. 35 The Father loves the Son and gives everything into his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever doesn’t believe in the Son won’t see life, but the angry judgment of God remains on them.”

Footnotes

  1. John 3:3 Or from above
  2. John 3:8 Or wind
  3. John 3:13 Or Son of Man
  4. John 3:14 Or Son of Man

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

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

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

“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.(H) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit.(I) 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](J)

“How can this be?”(K) Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,”(L) said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know,(M) and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.(N) 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(O) except the one who came from heaven(P)—the Son of Man.[e](Q) 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness,(R) so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[f](S) 15 that everyone who believes(T) may have eternal life in him.”[g](U)

16 For God so loved(V) the world that he gave(W) his one and only Son,(X) that whoever believes(Y) in him shall not perish but have eternal life.(Z) 17 For God did not send his Son into the world(AA) to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.(AB) 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned,(AC) but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.(AD) 19 This is the verdict: Light(AE) has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.(AF) 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.(AG) 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.

John Testifies Again About Jesus

22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.(AH) 23 Now John(AI) also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.)(AJ) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing.(AK) 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi,(AL) that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified(AM) about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’(AN) 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom.(AO) The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.(AP) 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”[h]

31 The one who comes from above(AQ) is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth.(AR) The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard,(AS) but no one accepts his testimony.(AT) 33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent(AU) speaks the words of God, for God[i] gives the Spirit(AV) without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.(AW) 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,(AX) but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

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.
  8. John 3:30 Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 36.
  9. John 3:34 Greek he

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