“Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “ Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless 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 be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. 12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
(Passage from John 3: 1 – 21 – New American Standard Bible)
I shared this passage on Sunday morning at our men’s breakfast with the group that gathered there.
I then attended the Harvest America Simulcast last night in Elizabeth City, NC and Greg Laurie talked this same passage at the event broadcast from Anaheim, California.
In this passage Nicodemus, as a secret follower of Jesus, asked Jesus some questions. Jesus also made some very clear statements about how a relationship with God would begin. (Verses 1 – 9) Nicodemus also asked some probing questions to gain more understanding. He wanted to know! Jesus spelled it out pretty clearly.
Jesus explained why He came and what God the Father was doing in sending Jesus (verse 16)
In this blog post I do not attempt to dissect every verse in this passage. Rather I thought it noteworthy that twice in one day this passage would be highlighted as people gathered. I believe that in this passage Jesus laid out the essence of God’s plan and our desired response.
Plus Jesus used an Old Testament story as a powerful illustration to show the high value of what He would be accomplishing while on the earth as a man (verses 13 – 15).