Jesus and Nicodemus
1There was a man from the Pharisees#Mk 7:3 named Nicodemus,#Jn 3:4,9; 7:50; 19:39 a ruler#Lk 8:41; 12:58 of the Jews. 2This man came to him at night and said, “Rabbi,#Jn 11:8 we know that you are a teacher#Mk 4:38; Eph 4:11 who has come from God,#Mk 1:45 for no one could perform these signs you do unless God were with him.”#Ex 3:12; Jn 15:24; Ac 10:38; Rv 21:3
3Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again,#3:3 Or from above, also in v. 7#1Pt 1:3; 1Jn 2:29he cannot see the kingdom of God.” #Mk 1:15; 9:1
4“How can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”
5Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born#Mk 9:43of water and the Spirit,#Ezk 36:25-27; Ac 22:16; Ti 3:5he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6Whatever is born of the flesh#Php 3:3is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit#Jn 1:33is spirit. 7Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born#1Pt 1:3again. 8The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going.#Jn 8:14So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”#1Co 2:13-16
9“How can these things be?” asked Nicodemus.
10 “Are you a teacher # 3:10 Or the teacher of Israel and don’t know these things?” Jesus replied. 11“Truly I tell you,#Jn 1:51; Rv 22:21we speak what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you do not accept our testimony. 12If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended#Jn 20:17into heaven#Dt 30:12; Jn 6:62; Ac 2:34; Rm 10:6; 1Co 15:47; Eph 4:8-10; Rv 11:12except the one who descended from heaven#Jn 6:38; 8:23— the Son of Man.#3:13 Other mss add who is in heaven#Mk 2:10
14 “Just as Moses # Ps 77:20; Mt 8:4; Heb 3:2 lifted up the snake in the wilderness, # Nm 21:4-9 so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him may#3:15 Other mss add not perish, buthave eternal life.#Mk 10:17; Jn 12:25; Ac 13:48 16For God loved#Jn 12:43; 1Co 13:1; Gl 2:20; Col 1:13; 3:12; 1Th 1:4; 2Th 2:13,16; 1Jn 4:7-12; Jd 1the world in this way:#3:16 Or this muchHe gave#3:16 Or For in this way God loved the world, and so he gave, or For God so loved the world that he gavehis one and only#1Jn 4:9Son,#Jn 5:19; Heb 1:2so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.#Jn 12:25; Rm 5:8; 1Jn 3:16; 4:9-10 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn#Jn 8:11the world, but to save the world through him. 18Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned,#Mt 12:41; Mk 16:16because he has not believed in the name#Jn 10:25; 1Jn 3:23of the one and only Son#Jn 5:19of God. 19This is the judgment: The light#Ps 36:9; Jn 12:46has come into the world,#Jn 18:37; 1Jn 2:8and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone who does evil hates#Lk 6:27; 19:14 the light and avoids it,#3:20 Lit and does not come to the lightso that his deeds#Mk 14:6; Gl 3:10; Jms 2:14-26may not be exposed. 21But anyone who lives by#3:21 Lit who doesthe truth comes to the light, so that his works#Jn 5:36may be shown to be accomplished by God.”
Jesus and John the Baptist
22After this, Jesus and his disciples went to the Judean countryside, where he spent time with them and baptized.
23John#Mk 1:4 also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. People were coming and being baptized, 24since John had not yet been thrown into prison.#Mk 1:14
25Then a dispute arose between John’s disciples#Mt 9:14; 11:2; 14:12; Mk 2:18; 6:29; Lk 5:33; 7:18-19; 11:1; Jn 1:35,37; 6:3 and a Jew#3:25 Other mss read and the Jews about purification.#Lv 13—14; Heb 1:3 26So they came to John and told him, “Rabbi,#Jn 11:8 the one you testified about, and who was with you across the Jordan,#Mk 10:1; Lk 3:3 is baptizing — and everyone is going to him.”#Mk 1:45
27John responded, “No one can receive anything unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,#Mt 1:17; Eph 5:2 but I’ve been sent ahead of him.’#Lk 1:17 29He who has the bride#Rv 21:2 is the groom. But the groom’s friend, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly#3:29 Lit with joy rejoices at the groom’s voice. So this joy#Jn 15:11 of mine is complete. 30He must increase, but I must decrease.”
The One from Heaven
31The one who comes from above#Jms 1:17 is above all. The one who is from the earth is earthly and speaks in earthly terms.#3:31 Or of earthly things The one who comes from heaven is above all.#Jn 8:23; 1Jn 4:5-6 32He testifies#Jn 15:26; Ac 26:5 to what he has seen and heard, and yet no one accepts his testimony. 33The one who has accepted his testimony has affirmed that God is true.#1Jn 5:20 34For the one whom God sent speaks God’s words, since he#3:34 Other mss read since God gives the Spirit#Jn 1:33 without measure. 35The Father loves the Son#Jn 5:20; 10:17; 1Co 13:1 and has given all things into his hands.#Jn 5:19 36The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who rejects the Son#3:36 Or refuses to believe in the Son, or disobeys the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.#Mk 16:16