Jesus and Nicodemus
This is a crucial chapter in John’s Gospel. Nicodemus is a teacher of Israel, a Pharisee, and a member of the ruling council - Those three things might make us expect that he is an opponent of Jesus- and this meeting seems to end without Nicodemus accepting Jesus claims. We will find out, at the end of the Gospel, that Nicodemus has become a believer, when he helps Joseph of Arimathea to claim and bury the body of Jesus.
Born Again This is a crucial term in the Bible: that in Christ we are made new, and get a completely new start in life. In some sense, disciples of Jesus are alive in a way that no one else can me. All people are alive biologically, but disciples come alive spiritually- alive to God. It is analogous to the difference between plant life and animal life, animal life and human life. Nicodemus is almost right: the one born of the Spirit has gone through a change like the baby emerging from the womb, into a whole new world.
John 3:16-17 So much can be written about this verse that it would be impossible to add anything here, so let me repeat what has been said elsewhere:
1. The whole bible, old and new testaments is a commentary on this verse.
2. Try reading this verse and replacing every reference to people with yourself: “God so loved me that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that by believing in him, I will not perish but have everlasting life. . .” Is it hard to believe that Jesus loves you that much?
3. Now substitute the name of a friend or family member you are praying for.
4. Now (and this might be harder) substitute the name of someone you don’t like. Is it so hard to believe that God also loves difficult and wicked people, and desires to save them from perishing?
John the Baptist confirms his testimony about Jesus
John declares that the people should follow Jesus instead of himself. In fact he says that whoever puts their faith in Jesus has eternal life, but anyone who rejects Jesus continues to be separated from God and eternal life by their sin.