The Gospel According to John

Chapter 3

Christ teaches Nicodemus the necessity of regeneration, 1-13, of faith in his death, 14, 15, the great love of God toward the world, 16, 17, and the condemnation for unbelief, 18-21. Jesus baptizes in Judea, 22. The baptism, witness, and doctrine of John concerning Christ, 23-36.

1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 The same came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no man can do these miracles that you do unless God is with him." 3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

4 Nicodemus says to 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?" 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a man is born of water and of 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 that I said to you, 'You [all] must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear its sound, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. Thus is everyone who 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 a teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak what we know and testify what we have seen, and you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 And no man has ascended to heaven, but he who came down from heaven, even the Son of man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, 15 So that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 "For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only-begotten Son, so 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 through him may be saved. 18 He who believes in him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation: that light has come into the world, and men have loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he who does truth comes to the light so that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

22 After these things Jesus and his disciples came into the land of Judea, and there he remained with them and baptized. 23 And John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. 24 For John was not yet cast into prison.

25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. 26 And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you bore testimony, behold, the same baptizes, and all men come to him." 27 John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it is given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me testimony that I said I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. This joy of mine therefore is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

31 "He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 And what he has seen and heard, he testifies, and no man receives his testimony. 33 He who has received his testimony, has set to his seal that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent, speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure to him. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."


Matthew Henry Commentary - John, Chapter 3[➚]


[v.7] - Text in square brackets added for implied meaning. This text was added to emphasize that the pronoun you is in the plural form and that Jesus is not only speaking to Nicodemus, but those who Nicodemus came to represent (verse 1), and by implication, all of mankind (verse 3), but namely to all who believe (verses 16 and 18). From Matthew Poole's Commentary: "For Nicodemus would easily consent that the pagans, and possibly the vulgar Jews, had need of regeneration, to partake of the kingdom of God; but that the doctors of the law, (of which number himself was), esteemed the lights of the world, should be under the same necessity, was astonishing to him. Therefore our Saviour, to undeceive and humble him, saith, 'Ye must be born again,' for that all are defiled with the corruption that is universal to mankind." The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary makes this interesting comment about Jesus' shift to the second person plural: "this is remarkable, showing that our Lord meant to hold Himself forth as 'separate from sinners.'"