Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3:1-21)

It was a quiet night, Jesus was waiting in a convenient spot, maybe beside a fire. Nicodemus came in secret to speak with Jesus. Nicodemus was on the other team from Jesus. He was Pharisee, a member of the group trying to trap Jesus, the ones who will eventually accuse Jesus before the temple authorities chanting “Crucify him.” Nicodemus was risking a lot by bringing his questions to Jesus.  Nicodemus risks being discovered, losing his place in his community, losing all respect from his peers. And Nicodemus was not even sure about this Jesus guy.

1 Now there came a man of the Pharisees whose name was Nicodemus, a member of the council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could do the miraculous signs that you do unless God were with him.”

3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time, can he?”

5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9 Nicodemus replied, “How can these things be?”

10 Jesus answered, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. 12 If I have told you people about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

16 For this is the way God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son that everyone who 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 should be saved through him. 18 The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. 19 Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. 21 But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God.146

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