John 3:1-3 Nicodemus, a Pharisee, was among the few of his sect that desired to seek the truth. He calls Jesus a teacher, called by God, because of the signs he performed. Before Nicodemus finished what he had to say, Jesus cut to the chase by reading Nicodemus’ heart and answered what should be Nicodemus’ and our greatest concern. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN.
John 3:4 Nicodemus did not see the spiritual significance of Jesus’ statement and said in so many words, “To get into God’s Kingdom, I have to be physically born again?”
John 3:5-7 Jesus answered and said His statement was spiritual, not physical. Yes, obviously you have to be born physically (or the rest does not even apply), but you have to be born spiritually also, for we are all born spiritually dead because of original sin. In other words, you cannot get into Heaven unless you are forgiven of your sins and spiritually born to God by being saved by Him. That is what the term means, “Born again”, not physically, but spiritually.
John 3:8 Jesus described that being born of the Spirit is like the Wind. It is the actual Spirit of God (Third Person of the Trinity) that causes you to become spiritually born again. He also comes to live inside you when you believe and help you become more like Jesus among other things.
Notes: Jesus’ point was that just as the wind cannot be controlled or understood by human beings but its effects can be witnessed, so also it is with the Holy Spirit. He cannot be controlled or understood, but the proof of his work is apparent. Where the Spirit works, there is undeniable and unmistakable evidence.
John 3:9-15 Nicodemus had no clue what Jesus was talking about. Jesus said that as a leader, he should know about these things. The problem is that their hearts were closed and cannot or will not receive the testimony of the truth. If Nicodemus could not understand these earthly explanations, how could Jesus move on to meatier spiritual things? Jesus goes on to tell Nicodemus that the only One who has ever been to Heaven where God abides, is the Son of Man (Jesus is referring to himself here). This Son of Man will be lifted up (On the cross, like Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness Num. 21:9; but cf. Isa. 52:13), and that this One, this Son of Man who has been to Heaven, if you believe in that One, you too will be able to enter Heaven. At a high level, what Jesus is basically saying here is simply this: God Himself will be the sacrifice to remove the barrier (sin) between God and Man, and all who believe would be born again spiritually and enter Heaven.
Notes: Eternal life refers not only to eternal quantity but divine quality of life. It means lit. “life of the age to come” and refers therefore to resurrection and heavenly existence in perfect glory and holiness. This life for believers in the Lord Jesus is experienced before heaven is reached. This “eternal life” is in essence nothing less than participation in the eternal life of the Living Word, Jesus Christ. It is the life of God in every believer, yet not fully manifest until the resurrection
John 3:16-18 Jesus wraps up what He is trying to get Nicodemus to understand in this very well-known saying: That God loved the world so much, that He gave His only Son as the One and only sacrifice that could remove the sin of the world, so that we, who deserve His wrath, judgment, and punishment, could be forgiven, not only to be set free from the sin that condemns us to eternal punishment, but set free to become God’s children and to follow Him, to become like Him, and one day fellowship and be where He is forever. If you choose not to believe, then your current punishment that awaits you still stands.
Notes: Jesus says, “For God so loved the World” not “For God so loved Israel”. Jesus was sent to die for the world that whoever believes in Him, whether Jew or Gentile, will have eternal life in Heaven.
Notes: believed in the name. This phrase (lit., “to believe into the name”) means more than mere intellectual assent to the claims of the gospel. It includes trust and commitment to Christ as Lord and Savior, which results in receiving a new nature (v. 7) that produces a change in heart and obedience to the Lord (see note on 2:23–24).
John 3:19-20 Jesus is the Light who comes into the world to save the world. Those who love their sins prefer the darkness and try to ignore and extinguish the light that shines on and exposes their sins. They hate the Light because it makes them feel bad and guilty, but they do not want to do anything about it. They are happy to continue in their sin, and instead, kill the light that makes them feel guilty.
Notes: God provides only one solution for the forgiveness of sin and that is Jesus. If you do not accept God’s solution, then you are left where you currently are… already guilty and sentenced to perish without God for eternity. Now, if the bible says that Jesus is the only solution provided by God, than all people, no matter how good they are or what other religious system they believe or follow, does not give provide them a back door into Heaven. It is not about YOU, it is about Jesus. And why do people choose to reject Jesus and rely on their own goodness or another religion? Because the solution provided by God, what we coin Christianity today, is the only one that deals with the SIN issue.
John 3:21 Those who have the desire not to sin and to do the right thing, go to the Light so that their fruit may be more clearly seen within that Light.
John 3:22-30 Just as John the Baptist was still baptizing people after Jesus started His ministry, Jesus’ disciples also baptized. Some of John’s followers who still followed John were concerned that Jesus and His disciples were getting more followers. John replies that Jesus is the One to follow now. John’s ministry and mission are coming to a close.
John 3:31-36 John reminds his followers that Jesus is from above and has the authority over everything. And although Jesus tells everyone what He has seen and heard when He was in Heaven since the beginning of time, people for the most did not believe. If you believe in what Jesus says, then you also believe in God too, for Jesus utters the very words of God. Jesus is the One who gives Eternal Life, so you better listen to everything He says and do what He says. If you do not obey what Jesus says, then you shall not enter Heaven, your sins still remain on you, and the judgment pronounced on before you were even born remains in an effect.