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Jesus and Nicodemus

There was a man named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a Jewish leader. One night he went to Jesus and said, “Sir, we know that God has sent you to teach us. You could not work these miracles, unless God were with you.”

Jesus replied, “I tell you for certain that you must be born from above[a] before you can see God’s kingdom!”

Nicodemus asked, “How can a grown man ever be born a second time?”

Jesus answered:

I tell you for certain that before you can get into God’s kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit. Humans give life to their children. Yet only God’s Spirit can change you into a child of God. Don’t be surprised when I say that you must be born from above. Only God’s Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going.

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 Jesus replied:

How can you be a teacher of Israel and not know these things? 11 I tell you for certain that we know what we are talking about because we have seen it ourselves. But none of you will accept what we say. 12 If you don’t believe when I talk to you about things on earth, how can you possibly believe if I talk to you about things in heaven?

13 No one has gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from there. 14 And the Son of Man must be lifted up, just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert.[b] 15 Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life.

16 God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! 18 No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn’t have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God’s only Son.

19 The light has come into the world, and people who do evil things are judged guilty because they love the dark more than the light. 20 People who do evil hate the light and won’t come to the light, because it clearly shows what they have done. 21 But everyone who lives by the truth will come to the light, because they want others to know that God is really the one doing what they do.

Jesus and John the Baptist

22 Later, Jesus and his disciples went to Judea, where he stayed with them for a while and was baptizing people.

23-24 John had not yet been put in jail. He was at Aenon near Salim, where there was a lot of water, and people were coming there for John to baptize them.

25 John’s followers got into an argument with a Jewish man[c] about a ceremony of washing.[d] 26 They went to John and said, “Rabbi, you spoke about a man when you were with him east of the Jordan. He is now baptizing people, and everyone is going to him.”

27 John replied:

No one can do anything unless God in heaven allows it. 28 You surely remember how I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am only the one sent ahead of him.

29 At a wedding the groom is the one who gets married. The best man is glad just to be there and to hear the groom’s voice. That’s why I am so glad. 30 Jesus must become more important, while I become less important.

The One Who Comes from Heaven

31 God’s Son comes from heaven and is above all others. Everyone who comes from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all others. 32 He speaks about what he has seen and heard, and yet no one believes him. 33 But everyone who does believe him has shown that God is truthful. 34 The Son was sent to speak God’s message, and he has been given the full power of God’s Spirit.

35 The Father loves the Son and has given him everything. 36 Everyone who has faith in the Son has eternal life. But no one who rejects him will ever share in that life, and God will be angry with them forever.

Jesus knew that the Pharisees had heard that he was winning and baptizing more followers than John was. But Jesus' disciples were really the ones doing the baptizing, and not Jesus himself.

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

Jesus left Judea and started for Galilee again. This time he had to go through Samaria, and on his way he came to the town of Sychar. It was near the field that Jacob had long ago given to his son Joseph. 6-8 The well that Jacob had dug was still there, and Jesus sat down beside it because he was tired from traveling. It was noon, and after Jesus' disciples had gone into town to buy some food, a Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well.

Jesus asked her, “Would you please give me a drink of water?”

“You are a Jew,” she replied, “and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink of water when Jews and Samaritans won’t have anything to do with each other?”[e]

10 Jesus answered, “You don’t know what God wants to give you, and you don’t know who is asking you for a drink. If you did, you would ask me for the water that gives life.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where are you going to get this life-giving water? 12 Our ancestor Jacob dug this well for us, and his family and animals got water from it. Are you greater than Jacob?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again. 14 But no one who drinks the water I give will ever be thirsty again. The water I give is like a flowing fountain that gives eternal life.”

15 The woman replied, “Sir, please give me a drink of that water! Then I won’t get thirsty and have to come to this well again.”

16 Jesus told her, “Go and bring your husband.”

17-18 The woman answered, “I don’t have a husband.”

“That’s right,” Jesus replied, “you’re telling the truth. You don’t have a husband. You have already been married five times, and the man you are now living with isn’t your husband.”

19 The woman said, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. 20 My ancestors worshiped on this mountain,[f] but you Jews say Jerusalem is the only place to worship.”

21 Jesus said to her:

Believe me, the time is coming when you won’t worship the Father either on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans don’t really know the one you worship. But we Jews do know the God we worship, and by using us, God will save the world. 23 But a time is coming, and it is already here! Even now the true worshipers are being led by the Spirit to worship the Father according to the truth. These are the ones the Father is seeking to worship him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship God must be led by the Spirit to worship him according to the truth.

25 The woman said, “I know that the Messiah will come. He is the one we call Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 “I am that one,” Jesus told her, “and I am speaking to you now.”

27 The disciples returned about this time and were surprised to find Jesus talking with a woman. But none of them asked him what he wanted or why he was talking with her.

28 The woman left her water jar and ran back into town. She said to the people, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! Could he be the Messiah?” 30 Everyone in town went out to see Jesus.

31 While this was happening, Jesus' disciples were saying to him, “Teacher, please eat something.”

32 But Jesus told them, “I have food that you don’t know anything about.”

33 His disciples started asking each other, “Has someone brought him something to eat?”

34 Jesus said:

My food is to do what God wants! He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that he gave me to do. 35 You may say that there are still four months until harvest time. But I tell you to look, and you will see that the fields are ripe and ready to harvest.

36 Even now the harvest workers are receiving their reward by gathering a harvest that brings eternal life. Then everyone who planted the seed and everyone who harvests the crop will celebrate together. 37 So the saying proves true, “Some plant the seed, and others harvest the crop.” 38 I am sending you to harvest crops in fields where others have done all the hard work.

39 A lot of Samaritans in that town put their faith in Jesus because the woman had said, “This man told me everything I have ever done.” 40 They came and asked him to stay in their town, and he stayed on for two days.

41 Many more Samaritans put their faith in Jesus because of what they heard him say. 42 They told the woman, “We no longer have faith in Jesus just because of what you told us. We have heard him ourselves, and we are certain that he is the Savior of the world!”

Jesus Heals an Official’s Son

43-44 Jesus had said, “Prophets are honored everywhere, except in their own country.” Then two days later he left 45 and went to Galilee. The people there welcomed him, because they had gone to the festival in Jerusalem and had seen everything he had done.

46 While Jesus was in Galilee, he returned to the village of Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was an official in Capernaum whose son was sick. 47 And when the man heard that Jesus had come from Judea, he went and begged him to keep his son from dying.

48 Jesus told the official, “You won’t have faith unless you see miracles and wonders!”

49 The man replied, “Lord, please come before my son dies!”

50 Jesus then said, “Your son will live. Go on home to him.” The man believed Jesus and started back home.

51 Some of the official’s servants met him along the road and told him, “Your son is better!” 52 He asked them when the boy got better, and they answered, “The fever left him yesterday at one o’clock.”

53 The boy’s father realized that at one o’clock the day before, Jesus had told him, “Your son will live!” So the man and everyone in his family put their faith in Jesus.

54 This was the second miracle[g] that Jesus worked after he left Judea and went to Galilee.

Footnotes

  1. 3.3 from above: Or “in a new way.” The same Greek word is used in verses 7,31.
  2. 3.14 just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert: When the Lord punished the people of Israel by sending snakes to bite them, he told Moses to hold a metal snake up on a pole. Everyone who looked at the snake was cured of the snake bites (see Numbers 21.4-9).
  3. 3.25 a Jewish man: Some manuscripts have “some Jewish men.”
  4. 3.25 about a ceremony of washing: The Jewish people had many rules about washing themselves and their dishes, in order to make themselves fit to worship God.
  5. 4.9 won’t have anything to do with each other: Or “won’t use the same cups.” The Samaritans lived in the land between Judea and Galilee. They worshiped God differently from the Jews and did not get along with them.
  6. 4.20 this mountain: Mount Gerizim, near the city of Shechem.
  7. 4.54 miracle: See the note at 2.11.