Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs You are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you,
no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you,
no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.
Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.”
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict:
Light has come into the world,
but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light,
so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
DID YOU KNOW?
The author of the Gospel of John intentionally echoes the book of Genesis in his gospel? Read Genesis 1. See if you notice echoing themes in John 3 of new creation, spirit, and light.
1 | THE WOMB
NOTE FROM A BIBLE SCHOLAR
“This is a radical doctrine. Does the already devout Nicodemus really need a whole new
birth in order to qualify for the God he already seriously worships? Why doesn’t Jesus say, more modestly and kindly, ‘take on a more spiritual step, Nicodemus, and I teach you’ or ‘think a little more highly of me’? (Jesus) tells him, and everyone else who is listening, that only the most radical change imaginable (a new birth no less) enables anyone, ever, to see the Kingdom of God.”
—FREDERICK DALE BRUNER, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN: A COMMENTARY
2 | THE LIGHT
3 | THE DESERT
there is something I wanted to tell You
but there have been errands to run,
bills to pay,
arrangements to make,
meetings to attend,
friends to entertain,
washing to do...
and I forget what it was I wanted to say to You.
And mostly I forget what I’m about,
don’t forget me, please,
for the sake of Jesus Christ…
Oh Father in Heaven,
perhaps You’ve already heard what I wanted to tell You.
What I wanted to ask is
increase my courage, please.
Renew in me a little of love and faith,
and a sense of confidence,
and a vision of what it might mean
to live as though You were real,
and I mattered,
and everyone was sister and brother;
What I wanted to ask in my blundering way is
don’t give up on me,
don’t become too sad about me,
but laugh with me,
and try again with me,
and I will with You too.
TED LODER, GUERRILLAS OF GRACE