John 3:1-21

The NET Bible makes a deliberate choice in 3:3 to make us aware of a possible Greek translation. The phrase so often translated as “born again” can also be translated “born from above.” Nicodemus obviously understands it one way, and Jesus accommodates his understanding, but also tries to get Nicodemus to think more spiritually. To be born again is to be born from above, born of the Spirit. And to be born of the Spirit means to believe in Jesus Christ. He is the only way to have eternal life. And if you believe in Him you will change, because you are no longer in darkness: you are in the light!

There are various opinions as to when Jesus stops speaking in this passage. Is it after verse 12? Is it after verse 15 (as it is in the NET Bible)? Of is it later in the passage? It’s an interesting question because He may be revealing Himself as the Son of Man and giving Nicodemus some important information. I believe that Jesus probably stops speaking after verse 12, and that John is one revealing the spiritual truth of how to be born from above to his readers. And that truth was actually foretold in the Old Testament:

Numbers 21:4-9 “Then they traveled from Mount Hor by the road to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom, but the people became impatient along the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness, for there is no bread or water, and we detest this worthless food.’ So the LORD sent venomous snakes among the people, and they bit the people; many people of Israel died. Then the people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD that he would take away the snakes from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people. The LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a poisonous snake and set it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will live.’ So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole, so that if a snake had bitten someone, when he looked at the bronze snake he lived.”

Either way, it’s quite an expose of Nicodemus’ lack of spiritual insight!

For worship:

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