Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who was a leading man among the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night, and said to him: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one could give such signs as you are giving, unless God were with him.”
3 “In truth I tell you,” exclaimed Jesus, “unless you are reborn, you cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 “How can someone,” asked Nicodemus, “be born when they are old? Can we be born a second time?” 5 “In truth I tell you,” answered Jesus, “unless you owe your birth to water and spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 All that owes its birth to human nature is human, and all that owes its birth to the spirit is spiritual. 7 Do not wonder at my telling you that you all need to be reborn. 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes, or where it goes; it is the same with everyone that owes his birth to the spirit.” 9 “How can that be?” asked Nicodemus.
10 “What! You a teacher of Israel,” exclaimed Jesus, “and yet do not understand this! 11 In truth I tell you that we speak of what we know, and state what we have seen; and yet you do not accept our statements. 12 If, when I tell you earthly things, you do not believe me, how will you believe me when I tell you of heavenly things?”
13 “None have ascended to heaven, except those who descended from heaven—the Son of Man himself. 14 And, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 That everyone who believes in him may have everlasting life.”
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that everyone who believes in him may not be lost, but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him escape condemnation, while those who do not believe in him are already condemned, because they have not believed in the only Son of God.”
19 “The ground of their condemnation is this: that though light has come into the world, they preferred the darkness to light, because their actions were wicked. 20 For those who live an evil life hate the light, and will not come to it because they fear that their actions will be exposed; 21 But those who act upon the truth come to the light, that their actions born in God may be made manifest.”
22 After this, Jesus went with his disciples into the country parts of Judea; and there he stayed with them, and baptized. 23 John, also, was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there were many streams there; and people were constantly coming and being baptized 24 (For John had not yet been imprisoned).
25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew on the subject of ‘purification;’ 26 And the disciples came to John and said: “Rabbi, the man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan, and to whom you have yourself borne testimony, he also is baptizing, and everybody is going to him.” 27 John’s answer was: “We can gain nothing but what is given to us from heaven.
28 You are yourselves witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but ‘I have been sent before him as a messenger.’ 29 It is the bridegroom who has the bride; but the bridegroom’s friend, who stands by and listens to him, is filled with joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. This joy I have felt to the full. 30 He must become greater, and I less. 31 He who comes from above is above all others; but a child of earth is earthly, and his teaching is earthly, too. He who comes from heaven is above all others.”
32 “He states what he has seen and what he heard, and yet no one accepts his statement. 33 They who did accept his statement attested the fact that God is true. 34 For he whom God sent as his messenger gives us God’s own teaching, for God does not limit the gift of the spirit. 35 The Father loves his Son, and has put everything in his hands. 36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, while he who rejects the Son will not even see that life, but remains under God’s displeasure.”
To read the next chapter of the Book of John, please go to The Gospel of John – 4.
This Online New Testament Gospel of John is excerpted from the book The Living Hour: The Lord’s Prayer for Daily Life (with New Century Gospels). Including over 200 bookmarked citations from the canonical Gospels, this Progressive Christian book appeals to the Unitarian spirit at the heart of all faiths.
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