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John 3:1-17Living Bible (TLB)

1-2 After dark one night a Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus, a member of the sect of the Pharisees, came for an interview with Jesus. “Sir,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miracles are proof enough of this.”

Jesus replied, “With all the earnestness I possess I tell you this: Unless you are born again, you can never get into the Kingdom of God.”

“Born again!” exclaimed Nicodemus. “What do you mean? How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

Jesus replied, “What I am telling you so earnestly is this: Unless one is born of water and the Spirit,[a] he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Men can only reproduce human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven; so don’t be surprised at my statement that you must be born again! Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it will go next, so it is with the Spirit. We do not know on whom he will next bestow this life from heaven.”

“What do you mean?” Nicodemus asked.

10-11 Jesus replied, “You, a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I am telling you what I know and have seen—and yet you won’t believe me. 12 But if you don’t even believe me when I tell you about such things as these that happen here among men, how can you possibly believe if I tell you what is going on in heaven? 13 For only I, the Messiah,[b] have come to earth and will return to heaven again. 14 And as Moses in the wilderness lifted up the bronze image of a serpent on a pole, even so I must be lifted up upon a pole, 15 so that anyone who believes in me will have eternal life. 16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son[c] so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.

Footnotes:

  1. John 3:5 Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, or “Physical birth is not enough. You must be born spiritually.” This alternate paraphrase interprets “born of water” as meaning the normal process observed during every human birth. Some think this means water baptism.
  2. John 3:13 the Messiah, literally, “the Son of Man.”
  3. John 3:16 his only Son, or “the unique Son of God.” So also in v. 18.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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