The Interview of Nicodemus with Jesus

John 3:1-3:21

3:1 Now there was among the Pharisees a man named Nicodemus, who was one of the rulers of the Jews.
2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, Rabbi, we are certain that you have come from God as a teacher, because no man would be able to do these signs which you do if God was not with him.
3 Jesus said to him, Truly, I say to you, Without a new birth no man is able to see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus said to him, How is it possible for a man to be given birth when he is old? Is he able to go into his mother’s body a second time and come to birth again?
5 Jesus said in answer, Truly, I say to you, If a man’s birth is not from water and from the Spirit, it is not possible for him to go into the kingdom of God.
6 That which has birth from the flesh is flesh, and that which has birth from the Spirit is spirit.
7 Do not be surprised that I say to you, It is necessary for you to have a second birth.
8 The wind goes where its pleasure takes it, and the sound of it comes to your ears, but you are unable to say where it comes from and where it goes: so it is with everyone whose birth is from the Spirit.
9 And Nicodemus said to him, How is it possible for these things to be?
10 And Jesus, answering, said, Are you the teacher of Israel and have no knowledge of these things?
11 Truly, I say to you, We say that of which we have knowledge; we give witness of what we have seen; and you do not take our witness to be true.
12 If you have no belief when my words are about the things of earth, how will you have belief if my words are about the things of heaven?
13 And no one has ever gone up to heaven but he who came down from heaven, the Son of man.
14 As the snake was lifted up by Moses in the waste land, even so it is necessary for the Son of man to be lifted up:
15 So that whoever has faith may have in him eternal life.
16 For God had such love for the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever has faith in him may not come to destruction but have eternal life.
17 God did not send his Son into the world to be judge of the world; he sent him so that the world might have salvation through him.
18 The man who has faith in him does not come up to be judged; but he who has no faith in him has been judged even now, because he has no faith in the name of the only Son of God.
19 And this is the test by which men are judged: the light has come into the world and men have more love for the dark than for the light, because their acts are evil.
20 The light is hated by everyone whose acts are evil and he does not come to the light for fear that his acts will be seen.
21 But he whose life is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his acts have been done by the help of God.


Joh 3:7  Marvel not that I said unto thee,…., For Nicodemus was quite astonished, at this doctrine of the new birth; it was altogether new to him, and unheard of by him; nor could he understand, nor conceive in what manner it could be:

ye must be born again; in “four” of Beza’s copies, it is read “we”; but as Christ was not begotten in a carnal way, or descended not from Adam in the ordinary way of generation, he was not carnal and corrupt, nor in the least tainted with sin; and so stood in no need of regeneration; wherefore such a reading must be rejected. There is a necessity of the regeneration of those, who are the chosen of God, and the redeemed of the Lamb; and of them only can the words be understood; for as for others, they neither can, nor will, nor must be born again: but the people of God “must”; partly because it is the will of God; it is his purpose and resolution, that they shall be regenerated; he has chosen them, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto salvation by Christ: this is the way and method of saving sinners he has fixed upon, namely, not to save them by works of righteousness, but by grace, and according to abundant mercy, through the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost: and partly, because of the case and condition of men, which requires it; for whereas the chosen people of God, are predestinated to the adoption of children, and are taken into the family of God, and are heirs to an inheritance, it is necessary they should have a nature, temper, and disposition of mind, suitable to the inheritance they are to enjoy; which they have not in their natural estate, and which is conveyed to them in regeneration: besides, their carnal minds are enmity to God, and it is necessary that they should be friendly to him, which cannot be without regeneration; nor can they, till they are born again, please God, or do those things which are pleasing to him: to which may be added, which Christ has before suggested, and which shows the necessity of it, that without it, no man can either see, or enter into the kingdom of God. To take off the surprise of Nicodemus, our Lord instances in a common natural case, and to which this affair of regeneration may be compared, and by it illustrated.

Commentary Resource:

John Gill Complete Exposition of the Bible