(From JOHN #6 - 3:1-21)
D. 3:1-21 NEW BIRTH, ATONEMENT AND JUDGMENT EXPLAINED
1. 3:1-15 NICODEMUS! ATONEMENT IS BASIS FOR BIRTH FROM ABOVE
a. 3:1-2 NICODEMUS IS ARRESTED BY SIGNS OF JESUS
En de ANthro-pos ek ton Pha-riSAIon, NiKOde-mos Ono-ma auTO, ARchon ton IouDAIon:
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, Nicodemus his name, a ruler of the Jews:
HOUtos ELthen pros auTON nukTOS, kai EIpen auTO, 'RabBEI ,
2the same came unto him by night, and said to him, Rabbi,
OIda-men HOti aPO TheOU eLElu-thas diDAska-los ;
we know that you are a teacher come from God;
ouDEIS gar DUna-tai TAUta ta seMEIa ha su poiEIS, eAN mehe ho TheOS met' auTOU.
for no one can do these :signs which you do, except :God be with him.
b. 3:3 NATURE AND NECESSITY OF REGENERATION
a-peKRItheIeSOUS kai EIpen auTO, A-MEN , aMEN, LEgosoi,
Jesus answered and said to him, Amen, Amen, I say unto you,
eAN MEtis gen-neTHEAno-then , ou DUna-tai iDEIN ten ba-siLEIan tou TheOU.
Except one be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of :God.
c. 3:4 NICODEMUS CAN ONLY SEE NATURAL BIRTH - THE LETTER
LEgei pros auTON ho NiKOde-mos, Pos DUna-tai ANthro-pos gen-neTHEnai GEron on?
:Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born being anold man?
meDUna-tai eis ten koiLIan tes meTROS auTOU DEUte-ron ei-selTHEIN, kai gen-neTHEnai?
can he enter a second time into the womb of his :mother, and be born?
d. 3:5 BIRTH FROM ABOVE IS BY WATER AND SPIRIT, NOT NATURAL BIRTH
a-peKRItheho IeSOUS, A-MEN, aMEN, LEgosoi,
:Jesus answered, Amen, Amen, I say unto you,
eAN MEtis gen-neTHEex HUda-tos kai PNEUma-tos,
except one be born of water and Spirit,
ou DUna-tai ei-selTHEIN eis ten ba-siLEIan tou TheOU.
he cannot enter into the kingdom of :God.
e. 3:6 What isborn of the flesh is flesh; and what isborn of the Spirit is spirit.
to ge-gen-neMEnon ek tes sarKOS SARX es-tin; kai to ge-gen-neMEnon ek tou PNEUma-tos PNEU-MA es-tin.
f. 3:7 Marvel not that I said to you, You must be born from above.
methauMAses HOti EI-PON soi, Dei huMAS gen-neTHEnai Ano-then.
g. 3:8 BIRTH BY THE SPIRIT IS INWARD AND INVISIBLE
to PNEUma HOpou THElei pnei , kai ten phoNEN auTOU aKOUeis,
The Spirit breathes where he wills, and you hear his :voice,
alLA ouk OIdas POthen ERche-tai, kai pou huPAgei:
but do not know from where he comes, and where he goes:
HOUtos esTIN pas ho ge-gen-neMEnos ek tou PNEUma-tos.
so is every one :born of the Spirit.
h. 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said to him, How can these thingsbe?
a-peKRItheNiKOde-mos kai EIpen auTO, Pos DUna-tai TAUta geNESthai?
i. 3:10 Jesus answered and said to him, Are you the teacher of :Israel, and do not understand these things?
a-peKRItheIeSOUS kai EIpen auTO, Su ei ho diDAska-los tou Is-raEL, kai TAUta ou giNOskeis?
j. 3:11 NICODEMUS DID NOT RECEIVE JESUS' SIMPLE WITNESS
aMEN, aMEN, LEgo soi [HOti], ho OIda-men laLOUmen, kai ho he-oRAka-men  mar-tuROUmen ;
Amen, Amen, I say unto you [that], We speak what we know, and witness what we have seen;
kai ten mar-tuRIan heMON ou lamBAne-te.
and you receive not our :witness.
k. 3:12 If I told you the earthly thingsand you believe not, how shall you believe if I tell you :heavenly?
ei ta ePIgei-a EIpon huMIN kai ou piSTEUe-te, pos eAN EIpohuMIN ta e-pouRANni-a piSTEUse-te?
l. 3:13 ONLY THE SON OF MAN HAS SPOKEN FROM HEAVEN
kai ouDEIS a-naBEbe-ken  eis ton ou-raNON,
And no one has ascended into the heaven,
ei me ho ek tou ou-raNOU ka-taBAS , ho huiOS tou anTHROpou.
except he that descended out of the heaven, the Son of :man.
m. 3:14-15 THE BRAZEN SERPENT: A TYPE OF CHRIST
kai kaTHOS Mo-uSES HUpso-sen  ton Ophin  en te eREmo ,
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
HOUtos hu-psoTHEnai dei ton huiON tou anTHROpou; HIna pas ho piSTEUon en auTO Eche zo-EN aiOni-on.
so must the Son of :man be lifted up; 15that whoever believes have in him eternal life.
2. 3:16-21 ATONEMENT: GOD'S PURPOSE - JUDGMENT: PENALTY FOR REJECTION
a. 3:16 THE LOVE OF GOD IN GIVING HIS SON FOR MAN
HOUtos gar eGApe-sen  ho TheOS ton KOSmon ,
For :God so loved the world,
HOSte ton huiON ton mo-no-geNEEdo-ken, HIna pas ho
that he gave his :only begotten :Son, that whoever
piSTEUon eis auTON me aPOle-tai , ALla Eche zo-EN aiOni-on.
believes unto him perish not, but have eternal life.
b. 3:17 THE END FOR WHICH GOD SENT HIS SON
ou gar aPEstei-len ho TheOS ton huiON eis ton KOSmon HIna KRIne  ton KOSmon;
For :God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world;
all' HIna soTHE  ho KOSmos di' auTOU.
but that the world be saved through him.
c. 3:18 BELIEF: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SALVATION AND JUDGMENT
ho piSTEUon eis auTON ou KRIne-tai: ho me piSTEUon Ede KEkri-tai,
Who believes unto him is not judged: who believes not has been judged already,
HOti me pePIsteu-ken eis to Ono-ma tou mo-no-geNOUS  huiOU tou TheOU.
because he has not believed unto the name of the only begotten Son of :God.
d. 3:19 REJECTION OF LIGHT: BASIS OF JUDGMENT
HAUte DE es-tin he KRIsis, HOti to phos  eLElu-then eis ton KOSmon,
And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world,
kai eGApe-san hoi ANthro-poi MALlon to SKOtos  e to phos; en gar auTON po-neRA  ta ERga.
and :men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their :works were evil.
e. 3:20 PRACTICERS OF EVIL HATE THE LIGHT
pas gar ho PHAUla  PRASson  miSEI  to phos,
For every one that practices evil thingshates the light,
kai ouk ERche-tai pros to phos, HIna me e-legchTHE  ta ERga auTOU.
and comes not unto the light, that his :works be not reproved.
f. 3:21 DOERS OF TRUTH COME TO LIGHT
ho de poiON ten aLEthei-an  ERche-tai pros to phos,
But who does the truth comes unto the light,
HIna pha-ne-roTHE  auTOU ta ERga HOti en TheO es-tin eir-gasMEna .
that his :works be manifested that they have been worked in God.
NOTE: 3:1-15 - Nicodemus was high up as a ruler in Jewish affairs - yet he was completely ignorant concerning true spiritual concepts. Still - the “signs” Jesus performed were so authentic, that they drew this man - by night - to search Jesus out and find answers to his questions.
It is in the Gospel of John that the author again and again emphasized the importance of Jesus' words by the double “Amen, Amen” emphasis. Each time we run across this introduction to one of Jesus' statements, the importance is so great that it will pay us to memorize each of these statements, and spend time in meditating upon them.
Note too that it is one thing to “see” the kingdom of God - and it is anotherthing to enter it. The birth from abovewith water (the living word) and Spirit, are the conditions for this entrance. How many “see”, but do not press on to enter? He that hungersand thirstsafter righteousness, shallbe filled!”The reward is notto the passive person, but to the earnest seekers.
In 3:8 we learn of the mysterious and inexplicable workings of the Spirit. His comings are unexpected, and often sudden. And - when a person is totallycommitted to God and His ways, like Oswald Chambers - abandonedto the Spirit, - then like George Muller, Rees Howells and Chambers - their movements alsobecome inexplicable and strange like those of the Spirit. One of Chamber's interesting quotes is, “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” I have found this concept to be freeing.
3:14-15 brings out an aspect for Jesus' first coming that makes a great deal of sense. Jews have had difficulty and stumbled over the two comings of the Messiah. His first coming was designed by the Godhead to make the Son of Man the “Suffering Servant or Messiah” - as the one to bring Redemption and Reconciliation to the lost race of Adam. It fits in with Isaiah 53, which Jewish rabbis usually bypass. But His next coming will be as Lord of lords and King of kings - and though the Jews expected this at His first coming - they will be shocked at the Reality of His Second Coming. They will thenrealize that in their ignorance, they rejected Him as a whole at His First Coming. Zechariah depicts their deep mourning when they discover the wound-marks in hands, feet and side - that they helped give Him at His first coming.
Yet God in His wisdom used even this to make room for the coming of Gentiles into the Church, the One New Man - along with a remnant of believing Jews, the Messianic believers.
Some scholars have wondered if 3:16-21 is also a part of Jesus' words to Nicodemus; or whether they stopped at verse 15, and are general words that follow. Up till now I have had no opinion on this - but today as I looked closely at the Interlinear Greek text, I have tentatively concluded that they alsoare a part of Jesus' words to Nicodemus. What do you think? J.A.W.