Read the Text. Pray.
So what are Jesus and Nicodemus talking about here?
Nicodemus comes to Jesus and is convinced that He is a teacher from God and likely to ask more on who Jesus is. Jesus tells Nicodemus that the Kingdom of God belongs to those born of water and of Spirit and uses the wind to illustrate His teaching.
why do y’all think Nicodemus went to Jesus by night?
privacy or John could be telling us that Nicodemus is still “in darkness”
Notice that Jesus didn’t rebuke Nicodemus for his night visit. The Lord will always welcome those who seek Him.
it seems Jesus knew exactly why Nicodemus was visiting Him and cuts directly to the chase. Often when Jesus is asked a question, in John’s gospel, He uses it as a springboard to teach a deeper truth to the person.
Nicodemus, being a well-learned religious leader rightly asks Jesus “how?” this is to happen. Jesus, in John’s gospel, seems to answer a lot of questions new followers of his may have. What questions did you have for Jesus when you came to faith? Or, perhaps, what questions do you have now that you’re struggling with?
What\’s it mean to be born again?
How does Jesus say we are to be born again? And what does that mean?
“Spirit” We must be born of God. Made anew by God. We are given new life from above. We cannot “improve” ourselves with God but must be born of God to receive the Kingdom/salvation. We cannot birth our selves the first time nor do we do so the second.
It is God who does this work in us and we become His/adopted into sonship and He cares for us/loves us fully for He is now our Father.
“water” Could mean baptisms or natural birth (given 3:6).
I take the view of baptisms because of the previous chapter.
This is the clear command for salvation by God to receive and have proof of new life. This is what is required of every believer.
“Kingdom of God” Meaning what? Define?
The essential idea is the reign of God over the lives of men. Or rather the rule of God in the hearts (our whole being) of man. It could depend on context, mean the complete submission of individual life to the rule of God, or a whole community of slivers that obey God on earth or a reference to Heaven itself. Also depending on context, these meanings could overlap somewhat. Thus, if one is to have entrance into Heaven one is to be born of water and Spirit AND if one is to know God at all they must be born of water and Spirit.
we are of flesh so a physical rebirth would do us no good anyhow. We must be born of Spirit.
Here Jesus uses the wind to illustrate His point. It’s worth noting just so simply the Lord was; using the littlest things to illustrate spiritual teachings.
In chapter 4 we’ll see Jesus use a cup of water to explain the gospel to a young woman.
Do we see God in the everyday-ness of our lives? Do we repent of even our “little” sins? Do we have a desire to please God/know God?
We observe the action of the HS in our lives and other’s but not the Spirit Himself; just like the wind even today.
Nicodemus, being confused about this teaching continues to ask how.
Jesus\’ reply is somewhat provoking to me. Jesus seems to think that Nicodemus should’ve been already aware of a re-birth. The only text they had was the OT at the time.
Where do you see a re-birth in the OT?
Noah, Exodus. David was even given a new anointing/calling when he was first called. Ps 51:10-12 \”Create in me a pure heart, O God,& renew a steadfast spirit w/in me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation & grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Who is the “we” here?
Ok, so Jesus uses this story because it speaks of Him. Much in the same way that the bronze snake was the ONLY means of a cure so Jesus is the ONLY means of salvation/cure for sin. God provided both remedies for sin and anyone who looked to the snake is saved/likewise, anyone who merely looks to Jesus is saved. We look to Jesus no the cross and realize what work was done there and are saved. In Numbers, it seems not one Israelite held back from looking to the snake and yet we hold back refusing to trust in God for our mode of salvation. The Israelites were saved not because they understood God’s requirement, but because they trusted God and His command to be saved. The lesson here is trust and obey for there is no other way and this is the message we are to give to all who would listen.
Why do y’all think this verse is so popular/well known?
Augustine wrote “Love is the highest characteristic of God, the one attribute in which all other harmoniously blend. Although our finite minds cannot grasp the limitlessness of His love, we are informed of it in His revealed Word. God’s love for men is declared in both the OT and NT”.
Jesus didn’t need to condemn the world for it had already condemned itself in Adam.
Notice here also that Jesus divides the whole human race into 2 groups and that is the only acceptable/biblical means of dividing the world.
let\’s go into application some. What must a lover of light do? hate darkness. Why? Because they are contrary to one another.
3:20 here we have an insight into man. Man does not want the light and drives himself further not the dark into to avoid the light. Thus hardening their hearts toward the light.
So given all of this, given this chapter on the working and love of God, what is the nature of God’s love? Sacrificial and saving. So should our love be toward others.
We are ultimately from above, so trials and loneliness are to be expected here because this isn’t our home. Any pain we experience in this life is to make us long for heaven/God even more and thus giving us more of God/knowing Him more.