Christ in a conference with Nicodemus teacheth him the necessity of regeneration; the efficacy of faith in his death; God's great love to mankind in sending his Son for their salvation; and the condemnation for unbelief. Jesus baptizeth in Judaea, as doth John in Aenon. John's doctrine concerning Christ.
1THERE was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus,a1a ruler of the Jews:
a John 19:39.
1 That is, one out of the council of the Jews, see John 7:48, 50.
2Theb same came to Jesus 2by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for noc man can do these miracles that thou doest, exceptd God be with him.
b John 7:50; 19:39.
2 Namely, for fear of the Jews and of being cast out of the synagogue. See John 9:22, 12:42, 19:38.
c John 9:16, 33.
d Acts 10:38.
3Jesus 3answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be 4born 5again, he 6cannot see the kingdom of God.
3 Namely, either upon the question of Nicodemus, concerning the means to be saved, which is not here expressed; or, upon his desire to know this, although he had not yet manifested the same.
4 That is, be delivered by the Holy Ghost from natural corruption and renewed to a new spiritual life. See John 1:13; Rom. 12:2.
5 Or, from above, or anew.
6 That is, not enter there into, as verse 5, that is, not be partaker of everlasting salvation. See the annotations on verse 36.
4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5Jesus answered, 7Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Excepte a man be born of 8water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
7 Gr. Amen, amen. See concerning this word, Mat. 6 on verse 13.
e Titus 3:5.
8 That is, is not cleansed from sin by the power of the Holy Ghost, as outward impurities are washed away with water, Ezek. 36:25. See similar phrase, Mat. 3:11.
6Thatf which is born 9of the flesh is 10flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is 11spirit.
f Rom. 8:5.
9 That is, after a natural manner out of corrupt men.
10 That is, naturally and carnally minded. Gen. 6:3, 5.
11 That is, is spiritually minded, Rom. 8:5.
7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be 12born again.
12 Or, anew, or from above, that is, by the operation of the Holy Ghost.
813The wind 14bloweth where it listeth,g and thou hearest the 15sound thereof, but canst not tell 16whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: 17so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
13 Gr. the spirit, that is, the wind, as appears by that which follows.
14 Or, rush.
g listed, chose, pleased
15 Gr. voice.
16 That is, from where it is driven; where it has its beginning, or has its end.
17 That is, you are indeed aware of the workings of the Spirit, but how it comes to pass, you do not understand, Eccl. 11:5.
9Nicodemus answered and said unto him, Howh can these things be?
h John 6:52.
10Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not 18these things?
18 Namely, which are so often and so clearly taught in the prophets.
11Verily,i verily, I say unto thee, 19We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and 20ye receive not ourj witness.
i John 7:16; 8:28; 12:49; 14:24.
19 Namely, John and I.
20 Namely, you as rulers and Pharisees, John 7:48.
j verse 32.
12If I have told you 21earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I 22tell you of heavenly things?
21 That is, declare heavenly things by the similitude of earthly things.
22 That is, would propound them without similitude, as they are in themselves.
13And nok man hath 23ascended up to heaven, but he that 24came down from heaven, even the Son of man 25which is in heaven.
k John 6:62; Eph. 4:9.
23 Or, gone up into, that is, pierced through with his understanding unto perfect knowledge of heavenly things, touching God’s counsel concerning the salvation of men, to reveal them into men, Rom. 10:6.
24 Namely, when He assumed the human nature, and was sent by the Father into the world for a Mediator.
25 Namely, in respect to His Divine nature, according to which He fills heaven and earth, Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3.
14¶Andl as Moses 26lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, evenm so must the Son of man be 27lifted up:
l Num. 21:9; 2 Kings 18:4.
26 That is, hung it up on a high pole, to be seen of all who were bitten by the fiery serpents, that they might be healed. See Num. 21:9.
m John 8:28; 12:32.
27 Namely, on the cross, as He Himself expounds, John 12:32, 33.
15That whosoever believeth in him should not 28perish, butn have eternal life.
28 Or, be lost.
n verse 36.
16¶Foro God so loved 29the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, thatp whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
o Rom. 5:8; 8:31; 1 John 4:9.
29 That is, not only the Jews, but also the Gentiles, scattered throughout the whole world, John 11:51, 52; 1 John 2:2; of this love of God see in more detail Rom. 5:6, 8, and 8:32.
p verse 36; Luke 19:10; 1 John 5:10.
17Forq God sent not his Son into the world to 30condemn the world; but that 31the world through him might be saved.
q Luke 9:56; John 9:39; 12:47; 1 John 4:14.
30 Gr. judge, that is, condemn or damn.
31 That is, those of the world who shall believe in Him, Gentiles as well as Jews.
18¶Her that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned 32already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
r John 5:24; 6:40, 47; 20:31.
32 Namely, in the judgment of God, according to the threatening of the law, as he that has the cause of damnation in himself.
19And thiss is 33the condemnation, that 34light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
s John 1:5.
33 That is, the judgment, or the cause of judgment.
34 That is, Christ and His Gospel.
20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be 35reproved.
35 That is, be discovered, and he convinced of the same.
21Butt he 36that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought 37in God.
t Eph. 5:8.
36 That is, he who deals uprightly.
37 Or, are done in God, that is, as in the presence of God, and according to His will.
22¶After these things came Jesus and his disciples 38into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, andu39baptized.
38 That is, outside Jerusalem, within the borders of Judea.
u John 4:1.
39 Namely, by His disciples. See John 4:2.
23¶Andv John also was baptizing in Aenon near to 40Salim, because there was much 41water there: and they came, and were baptized.
v Mat. 3:6; Mark 1:5; Luke 3:7.
40 A place in the tribe of Benjamin, whereof see 1 Sam. 9:4.
41 That is, brooks, or rivulets, or, much waters. Because they, who were baptized by John, went into the water with their whole bodies. See Mat. 3:16; Acts 8:38.
24Forw John was not yet cast into prison.
w Mat. 14:3.
25¶Then there arose a 42question between some of John's disciples and the Jews 43about purifying.
42 Or, difference.
43 Namely, about comparing of the worthiness of the baptism of John with the Jewish purifications; or, of the baptism of John with the baptism of Christ’s disciples.
26Andx44they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee 45beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men 46come to him.
x Mat. 3:11; Mark 1:7; Luke 3:16; John 1:15, 26, 34.
44 Namely, the disciples of John.
45 Or, by Jordan; namely, at Bethabara, John 1:28.
46 That is, they come by great multitudes.
27John answered and said, A man 47can receive nothing, except it be given him 48from heaven.
47 That is, execute no office lawfully and with due success and fruits, Heb. 5:4. Or, receive anything, namely, that is good, James 1:17.
48 That is, from God. See Mat. 21:25.
28Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, Iy am not the Christ, butz that I am sent before him.
y John 1:20.
z Mal. 3:1; Mat. 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 1:17; 7:27; John 1:21, 23.
29He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but 49the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s 50voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
49 That is, I, who am the friend and faithful minister of the Bridegroom, have brought the bride, that is, the church, unto Christ, her Bridegroom, Who now receives and speaks to her Himself. See 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25.
50 When He receives and speaks unto His bride.
30He must increase, but I must decrease.
31Heaa that cometh 51from above is above all: he that is 52of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
aa John 8:23.
51 That is, from heaven, as being true God, as in the following words is declared.
52 That is, who is mere man, spoken naturally, speaks as a mere man, although he be endowed with the Spirit of God.
32Andab53what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and 54no man receiveth his testimony.
ab John 5:30; 8:26; 12:49; 14:10.
53 That is, whereof He of Himself has perfect and certain knowledge.
54 That is, very few, and almost no man, in comparison to the great multitude of those who reject it, as appears from the following verse.
33He that hath received his testimony hath 55set to his sealac thatad God is true.
55 That is, testified and confirmed by his faith, that he holds the promises of God to be true.
ac affixed his seal*
ad Rom. 3:4.
34For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth notae the Spirit 56by measure unto him.
ae Eph. 4:7.
56 Gr. out of a measure, that is, not in part, as to His ministers, but in all fullness. See Psalm 45:7; John 1:16.
35The Father loveth the Son, andaf hath given all things 57into his hand.
af Mat. 11:27; 28:18; Luke 10:22; John 5:22; 17:2; Heb. 2:8.
57 That is, subjected to His power. See Mat. 28:18.
36Heag that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that 58believeth not the Son shall 59not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
ag verse 16; John 6:47; 1 John 5:10.
58 That is, he who does not believe in Him according to His command, Rom. 1:5.
59 That is, not enjoy it, Psalm 34:12.