3 There was a man named Nicodemus who was one of the Pharisees and an important Jewish leader. 2 One night Nicodemus came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we know you are a teacher sent from God, because no one can do the miracles you do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot be in God’s kingdom.”
4 Nicodemus said, “But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? He cannot enter his mother’s womb again. So how can a person be born a second time?”
5 But Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born from water and the Spirit, you cannot enter God’s kingdom. 6 Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit. 7 Don’t be surprised when I tell you, ‘You must all be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wants to and you hear the sound of it, 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.”
9 Nicodemus asked, “How can this happen?”
10 Jesus said, “You are an important teacher in Israel, and you don’t understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we talk about what we know, and 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, and you do not believe me. So you will not believe me if I tell you about 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 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert,[b] the Son of Man must also be lifted up. 15 So that everyone who believes can have eternal life in him.
16 “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only 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.
3:13the Son of Man Some Greek copies continue, “who is in heaven.”
3:14Moses . . . desert When the Israelites were dying from snakebites, God told Moses to put a bronze snake on a pole. The people who looked at the snake were healed (Numbers 21:4–9).
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