Nicodemus Visits Jesus
1 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader
of the Jews. 2He came to Jesusa by
night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from
God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God." 3Jesus
answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without
being born from above."b 4Nicodemus
said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a
second time into the mother's womb and be born?" 5Jesus
answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without
being born of water and Spirit. 6What is born of the
flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.c 7Do
not be astonished that I said to you, 'Youd must be born from
above.'e 8The windf
blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where
it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the
Spirit." 9Nicodemus said to him, "How can these
things be?" 10Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher
of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
11 "Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet youg do not receive our testimony. 12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.h 14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.i
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17 "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."j
Jesus and John the Baptist
22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into
the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. 23John
also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and
people kept coming and were being baptized 24--John,
of course, had not yet been thrown into prison.
25 Now a discussion about purification arose between John's disciples and a Jew.k 26They came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him." 27John answered, "No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. 28You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, 'I am not the Messiah,l but I have been sent ahead of him.' 29He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. 30He must increase, but I must decrease."m
The One Who Comes from Heaven
31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. 33Whoever has accepted his testimony has certifiedn this, that God is true. 34He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. 36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God's wrath.