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John 3

Jesus and Nicodemus
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 The same came to him by night, and said to him: Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God. For no one can do the signs you do, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said to him: Truly, truly, I say to you: Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus said to him: How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born? 5 Jesus answered: Truly, truly, I say to you: Except one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God! 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel at what I said to you: You must be born anew. 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear its sound, but do not know from where it comes and where it goes. So is every one that is born of the Spirit.
   9 Nicodemus answered and said to him: How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said to him: Are you the teacher of Israel and yet do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you: We speak that which we know and testify of that which we have seen; and you do not welcome our witness. 12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
   13 No one has ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven. 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 that whoever believes may in him have eternal life.
   16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him.
   18 He that believes in him is not condemned. He that does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the ground of condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light- for their works were evil. 20 For every one that does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, in case his works should be reproved. 21 But he that does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God.

Jesus and John the Baptist
22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there he stayed with them and baptized. 23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there; and people came to be baptized. 24 For John had not then been thrown into prison.
   25 Then there arose a dispute between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purification. 26 And they came to John, and said to him: Rabbi, he that was with you on the other side of the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, the same baptizes, and all men come to him. 27 John answered and said: A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said: I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. 29 He that has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, that stands by and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. In this my joy is made full. 30 He must increase but I must decrease.
   31 He that comes from above is above all. He that is of the earth is of the earth, and of the earth he speaks. He that comes from heaven is above all. 32 What he has seen and heard, of that he testifies; and no one receives his witness. 33 He that has received his witness has certified that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He does not give him the Spirit by measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 He that believes on the Son has eternal life; but he that does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.


3:5 Here we see the importance of water baptism. But of itself, it’s not enough- we must be spiritually reborn by the action of God’s word within us (1 Pet. 1:23) if we are to enter the Kingdom of God when Jesus returns. Baptism is therefore very important. Contact the publishers if you would like to be baptized.

3:13 ‘Ascent’ and ‘descent’ here aren’t being used literally. John’s Gospel uses very symbolic terms. Jesus was conceived within Mary, He was “begotten”- He ‘began’- as a foetus within His mother. Either He literally floated down through the clouds from Heaven to earth- or we must understand ‘descending’ from Heaven as meaning that He was born on earth but sent by God.

3:14 The serpent was a symbol of sin. Yet it also represents Jesus. On the cross, Jesus was identified very strongly with sinful people, even though He never sinned. He is ‘one’ with us who are sinners, the sinner’s friend who doesn’t just turn away from sin but touches and identifies with it in order to cleanse it.

3:14 In Him- Gk. ‘into Him’. We believe ‘into’ Jesus by believing and being baptized into Jesus.

3:21 If we feel sinners, we needn’t be depressed. This is a result of being in the light.

3:23 Baptism is immersion in water, not sprinkling- hence it required “much water”.