Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
1There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus. He was one of the Jewish rulers. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. We know that God is with you. If he weren’t, you couldn’t do the signs you are doing.”
3Jesus replied, “What I’m about to tell you is true. No one can see God’s kingdom unless they are born again.”
4“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “They can’t go back inside their mother! They can’t be born a second time!”
5Jesus answered, “What I’m about to tell you is true. No one can enter God’s kingdom unless they are born with water and the Holy Spirit. 6People give birth to people. But the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised when I say, ‘You must all be born again.’ 8The wind blows where it wants to. You hear the sound it makes. But you can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going. It is the same with everyone who is born with the Spirit.”
9“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus. “Don’t you understand these things? 11What I’m about to tell you is true. We speak about what we know. We are witnesses about what we have seen. But still you people do not accept what we say. 12I have spoken to you about earthly things, and you do not believe. So how will you believe if I speak about heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven. He is the Son of Man. 14Moses lifted up the snake in the desert. In the same way, the Son of Man must also be lifted up. 15Then everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
16God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. 17God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world. He sent his Son to save the world through him. 18Anyone who believes in him is not judged. But anyone who does not believe is judged already. They have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19Here is the judgment. Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light. They loved darkness because what they did was evil. 20Everyone who does evil deeds hates the light. They will not come into the light. They are afraid that what they do will be seen. 21But anyone who lives by the truth comes into the light. They live by the truth with God’s help. They come into the light so that it will be easy to see their good deeds.
John the Baptist Is a Witness About Jesus
22After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the countryside of Judea. There he spent some time with them. And he baptized people there. 23John was also baptizing. He was at Aenon near Salim, where there was plenty of water. People were coming and being baptized. 24This was before John was put in prison. 25Some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew began to argue. They argued about special washings to make people “clean.” 26They came to John and here is what they said to him. “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan River is baptizing people. He is the one you told us about. Everyone is going to him.”
27John replied, “A person can receive only what God gives them from heaven. 28You yourselves are witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah. I was sent ahead of him.’ 29The bride belongs to the groom. The friend who helps the groom waits and listens for him. He is full of joy when he hears the groom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30He must become more important. I must become less important.
31“The one who comes from above is above everything. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks like someone from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above everything. 32He is a witness to what he has seen and heard. But no one accepts what he says. 33Anyone who has accepted it has said, ‘Yes. God is truthful.’ 34The one whom God has sent speaks God’s words. That’s because God gives the Holy Spirit without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has put everything into his hands. 36Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life. Anyone who does not believe in the Son will not have life. God’s anger remains on them.”