There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison.
Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.
He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
This chapter of John not only sums up the Gospel message but also introduces us to the Holy Spirit.
Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night time to ask Him to teach him what He is all about. Most likely coming at night to see Him, he would have a chance to converse with Jesus in peace without being surrounded by the masses who during the day would be surrounding Jesus and the disciples.
Surely being a Pharisee, he has heard Jesus’s message and heard of some of the miracles by this time. He obviously believes there is something special about Jesus, and realizes He must have a particular relationship with God.
It’s interesting here that Nicodemus makes a statement to Jesus, and hadn’t asked anything yet of Him, yet Jesus answers him anyway, in a way that must have taken him by complete surprise and bewilderment. Jesus cuts to the chase and lays it all out that everything else is irrelevant until that issue is settled- you must be born again.
“How can this be?” A perfectly logical question for someone who hasn’t the Holy Spirit yet, but this coming from a man who was part of the religious leadership, also a man of the law (court and legislature through the Sanhedrin). Surely he must know these things. But his obvious confusion reveals that he doesn’t have a clue,
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
Jesus is showing Himself here as teacher, Rabbi, declaring the truth “verily, verily I tell you…” Without a new birth in the Spirit, you’ll never see the kingdom. He is teaching of the new birth by faith, and that the wind (Holy Spirit) doesn’t tell man what He’s doing, or ask , He just does. As like wind, sometimes He is a gentle breeze blowing a refreshing breath, soft and inscrutable. Other times fierce like a hurricane or storm. The Holy Spirit of God takes the Word of God and, when a sinner believes, He bestows the life of God.
It’s not the baptism that causes one to be born again, as baptism is an outward declaration of belief and trust, a burial and new life in Christ. Once someone comes to faith in Christ and receives the gift of Salvation, the Holy Spirit enters that person and begins His work of teaching, convicting, giving gifts and transformation into a new creature.
Jesus also teaches him about the nature of God, as God the Father, Who is the source and beginning of all things, including the new birth. God is the same at creation as He is in the new birth, and the end of this earth. He teaches Nicodemus that it is by grace, love and mercy that one is saved- not by works, and that God loved (before creation and before believers became His children) the world- not just Jews but all His creation.
There is so much more to this chapter, and I’d like to hear what y’all find when you dig through it. But for me, I’d like to leave off resting in the fact that Jesus teaches the magnitude of God’s love, that He gave His only begotten Son, God so loved…. He didn’t just say God loved the world, He added the word so, which infers great amounts, total amounts. The magnitude of His love is beyond our finite minds to grasp.
Those who doubt God loves them- look at the cross. And see- He didn’t give Jesus to condemn, but to save.
Because He Gave Agape, Whole, Heavenly Love.
He gave His best- His only son.
Have a beautiful and blessed day all.