1. Did he mean that he is discussing with Nicodemus the things that can be done on earth? You can also change some of your preferences. Enough for me to be the Bridegroom's friend, sent by Him to negotiate the match, privileged to bring together the Saviour and those He is come to seek and to save, and rejoicing with joy unspeakable if I may but 'stand and hear the Bridegroom's voice,' witnessing the blessed espousals. Nor is it merely as something that should be experienced under the Gospel that the Old Testament holds it forth--as many distinguished critics allege, denying that there was any such thing as regeneration before Christ. Here it is still further veiled--though to us who know what it means, rendered vastly more instructive--by reference to the brazen serpent. How, &c.--Though the subject still confounds Nicodemus, the necessity and possibility of the new birth is no longer the point with him, but the nature of it and how it is brought about [LUTHARDT]. Interestingly, the Greek word translated “again” or “anew” in John 3:3 and 7 has two possible meanings: the first one is “again,” and the second one is “from above.” “Born again,” “born from above,” and “born of water and Spirit” are three ways of saying the same thing. You can check these in your browser security settings. ", &c. ye receive not, &c.--referring to the class to which Nicodemus belonged, but from which he was beginning to be separated in spirit. respond to the trials but also how to relate to those who proclaim the truth B. John the Baptist's final testimony about Jesus. Verse Thoughts One night, the Lord Jesus was visited by an important teacher of the Jews called Nicodemus. As one simple look at the serpent, however distant and however weak, brought an instantaneous cure, even so, real faith in the Lord Jesus, however tremulous, however distant--be it but real faith--brings certain and instant healing to the perishing soul. It means the entire fulness of divine life and divine power. 25, 26. between some of--rather, "on the part of." 22-24. land of Judea--the rural parts of that province, the foregoing conversation being held in the capital. Except, &c.--This blunt and curt reply was plainly meant to shake the whole edifice of the man's religion, in order to lay a deeper and more enduring foundation. Doubtless many bitten Israelites, galling as their case was, would reason rather than obey, would speculate on the absurdity of expecting the bite of a living serpent to be cured by looking at a piece of dead metal in the shape of one--speculate thus till they died. What to kindle in the cold and selfish breasts of mortals the fires of self-sacrificing love to mankind, as these words of transparent simplicity, yet overpowering majesty? The words of prophets and apostles are undeniable and most precious truth; but in the words of Christ we hear a voice as from the excellent Glory, the Eternal Word making Himself heard in our own flesh. and what is requisite to the seeing and enjoying of it? 11-13. The Verses Before John 3:16. This is the "Israelite, indeed, in whom is no guile.". Accordingly it is considered synonymous with enter, John 3:5. “Though I admit,” says Dr. Campbell, “in a great measure, the truth of this exposition, I do not think it comprehends the whole of what the words imply. After those universal propositions, about what "a man" must be, to "enter the kingdom of God" ( John 3:5 )--this is remarkable, showing that our Lord meant to hold Himself forth as "separate from sinners.". To a Jewish ecclesiastic, so familiar with the symbolical application of water, in every variety of way and form of expression, this language was fitted to show that the thing intended was no other than a thorough spiritual purification by the operation of the Holy Ghost. 12. earthly things--such as regeneration, the gate of entrance to the kingdom of God on earth, and which Nicodemus should have understood better, as a truth even of that more earthly economy to which he belonged. The reply to this is one of the noblest and most affecting utterances that ever came from the lips of man. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. This is the undoubted meaning of the same word as used below (John 3:31); and a similar idea is expressed in the passages of the Gospel (chap. John tells us that when we are born again – born into the family of God – there is a real change in our … Surely we should love those whom God has loved, and so loved. Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 1:13) and First Epistle of John (chap. That is a very remarkable ‘and’ with which this verse begins. We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. And as Moses, &c.--Here now we have the "heavenly things," as before the "earthly," but under a veil, for the reason mentioned in John 3:12 . . So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 6-8. Rabbi, &c.--"Master, this man tells us that He to whom thou barest such generous witness beyond Jordan is requiting thy generosity by drawing all the people away to Himself. In both cases the remedy was divinely provided. "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Click on the different category headings to find out more. Leave a comment. CHAPTER 3. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. Ye bring me glad tidings of great joy. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. be born again--or, as it were, begin life anew in relation to God; his manner of thinking, feeling, and acting, with reference to spiritual things, undergoing a fundamental and permanent revolution. John not yet cast into prison--Hence it is plain that our Lord's ministry did not commence with the imprisonment of John, though, but for this, we should have drawn that inference from Matthew 4:12 and Mark's ( Mark 1:14 ) express statement. 1, 2. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. Afterwards, John the Baptist explains why he's content to see his own ministry fade into the background. These words were spoken to a very religious leader of the Jews – a ruler and a teacher, who read his bible, worshiped on the right days and tried to keep the commandments of God. 19. this is the condemnation, &c.--emphatically so, revealing the condemnation already existing, and sealing up under it those who will not be delivered from it. When religion is out of fashion, there are many Nicodemites. The epistle called 3 John concerns three individuals, and in this letter the apostle John sends an essential message to each of them: Gaius. We speak that we know, and . Would you have me mount into my Master's place? In both cases the efficacy is the same. John uses the word 5 times, in 3:3, 7; 3:31; 19:11 and 23. 10. . John 3:1-21 . John 3:16, verse under consideration; John 3:18, below; Whoever believes “πας ο πιστευων”, literally, “all the believing one.” ‘believing’ is present active participle the Greek word for “whoever” is ὅς, hos. The old Socinians, to subvert the doctrine of the pre-existence of Christ, seized upon this passage as teaching that the man Jesus was secretly caught up to heaven to receive His instructions, and then "came down from heaven" to deliver them. Otherwise you will be prompted again when opening a new browser window or new a tab. John 3:3. He is saying to the disciples: Turn away from your fixation on causality as the decisive explanation of suffering. John 3:8 “The wind blows wherever it pleases. ουτως (houtos), the original Greek word translated “so,” means “in this manner” and is actually the first word in John 3:16, a more literal translation of which would begin, “For in … In both cases it is by directing the eye to the uplifted Remedy that the cure is effected; in the one case the bodily eye, in the other the gaze of the soul by "believing in Him," as in that glorious ancient proclamation--"Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth," &c. ( Isaiah 45:22 ). The meaning of Jesus in John 9:3 is not obscure. What does John chapter 3 mean? Whose is the Bride but the Bridegroom's? Ye must--"Ye, says Jesus, not we" [BENGEL]. The Father loveth, have the "delivering over of all things into the hands of the Son," while here we have the deep spring of that august act in the Father's ineffable "love of the Son.". Thus, while unable to repress his convictions, he is afraid of committing himself too far. As the serpent was God's ordinance for the cure of every bitten Israelite, so is Christ for the salvation of every perishing sinner--the one however a purely arbitrary ordinance, the other divinely adapted to man's complicated maladies. . The Meaning of John 3:3—Learn the True Meaning of Being Born Again. is not salvation by a crucified Redeemer subjected to like treatment? He had come earnestly seeking answers to important questions, which he and other Jewish rulers had regarding Jesus, His teachings, and His miracles. How, &c.--The figure of the new birth, if it had been meant only of Gentile proselytes to the Jewish religion, would have been intelligible enough to Nicodemus, being quite in keeping with the language of that day; but that Jews themselves should need a new birth was to him incomprehensible. 5. of water and of the Spirit--A twofold explanation of the "new birth," so startling to Nicodemus. Commentators have debated who “We” is in this passage. And turn … Many crucial ideas are explained in this passage, including the role of Jesus as Savior. © Copyright - Enduring Word       |      . After the loud, public commotion at the temple, John transitions to a quiet, nighttime discussion. How would Nicodemus' narrow Judaism become invisible in the blaze of this Sun of righteousness seen rising on "the world" with healing in His wings! Such a stumbling-block to the Jews and to the Greeks foolishness was faith in the crucified Nazarene as a way of deliverance from eternal perdition. The Bride is not mine, why should the people stay with me?? And they came and were baptized. which speak of those who are begotten of God. For our Lord's proposition is universal, that no fallen man is or can be spiritual without a regenerating operation of the Holy Ghost, and the necessity of a spiritual obedience under whatever name, in opposition to mere mechanical services, is proclaimed throughout all the Old Testament. (Compare John 3:26 with John 1:28 ). shall not see life--The contrast here is striking: The one has already a life that will endure for ever--the other not only has it not now, but shall never have it--never see it. A man can receive, &c.--assume nothing, that is, lawfully and with any success; that is, Every man has his work and sphere appointed him from above, Even Christ Himself came under this law ( Hebrews 5:4 ). 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. By "fiery serpents" bitten--serpents, probably, with skin spotted fiery red [KURTZ]--the instrument of cure is a serpent of brass or copper, having at a distance the same appearance. Nicodemus probably thought he had gone a long way, and expected, perhaps, to be complimented on his candor. 23. Copyright © 2021, Bible Study Tools. 1 John 2:29, 1 John 5:1, etc.) Ænon . And who does not perceive it? For God so loved, &c.--What proclamation of the Gospel has been so oft on the lips of missionaries and preachers in every age since it was first uttered? Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking. If you refuse cookies we will remove all set cookies in our domain. 16. The Servant’s must: I must decrease (John 3:30). “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he … Please see our Privacy Policy for cookie usage details. John 3:22-36 . We fully respect if you want to refuse cookies but to avoid asking you again and again kindly allow us to store a cookie for that. 9, 10. John chapter 3 is one of the most important in the entire gospel. Changes will take effect once you reload the page. So let’s look at John 3:16 and the meaning it holds for us. Therefore he loves and "comes to the light," that all he is and does, being thus thoroughly tested, may be seen to have nothing in it but what is divinely wrought and divinely approved. (Compare 2 Kings 5:12 ). Has the offense of the cross" yet ceased? Marvel not, &c.--If a spiritual nature only can see and enter the kingdom of God; if all we bring into the world with us be the reverse of spiritual; and if this spirituality be solely of the Holy Ghost, no wonder a new birth is indispensable. If you do not want that we track your visit to our site you can disable tracking in your browser here: We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. There are a few things we need to know about this interaction. of 14-16. the kingdom of God--whether in its beginnings here ( Luke 16:16 ), or its consummation hereafter ( Matthew 25:34 , Ephesians 5:5 ). 33. hath set to His seal, &c.--gives glory to God whose words Christ speaks, not as prophets and apostles by a partial communication of the Spirit to them. (So strongly did the Baptist feel this contrast that the last clause just repeats the first). Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he … Answer: In John 3:13 Jesus says to Nicodemus, “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man.”This verse is somewhat difficult to interpret and is often misunderstood. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. 26. and the Jews--rather (according to the best manuscripts), "and a Jew," about purifying--that is, baptizing, the symbolical meaning of washing with water being put (as in John 2:6 ) for the act itself. After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. 21. doeth truth--whose only object in life is to be and do what will bear the light. He that, &c.--Here is the reason why He must increase while all human teachers must decrease. Our website uses cookies to store user preferences. condemned already--Rejecting the one way of deliverance from that "condemnation" which God gave His Son to remove, and so wilfully remaining condemned. Proud member What does John 3:16 really mean for us? Had the man been less sincere, this would certainly have repelled him; but with persons in his mixed state of mind--to which Jesus was no stranger ( John 2:25 )--such methods speed better than more honeyed words and gradual approaches. So in redemption, as by man came death, by Man also comes life--Man, too, "in the likeness of sinful flesh" ( Romans 8:3 ), differing in nothing outward and apparent from those who, pervaded by the poison of the serpent, were ready to perish. Therefore the Saviour now graciously advances in His communications of truth, and once more solemnly brings to the mind of this teacher in Israel, now become a learner, his own not guiltless ignorance, that He may then proceed to utter, out of the fulness of His divine knowledge, such farther testimonies both of earthly and heavenly things as his docile scholar may to his own profit receive" [STIER]. -John 3:3. light is come into the world--in the Person of Him to whom Nicodemus was listening. Doubtless it was intended to startle and constrain His auditor to think that there must be mysterious elements in His Person. In both the way of cure strikingly resembled that of the disease. Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is … A man, &c.--"I do my heaven-prescribed work, and that is enough for me. John 3:13 Some manuscripts Man, who is in heaven; John 3:14 The Greek for lifted up also means exalted. We need 2 cookies to store this setting. 1 John 3:3. We use cookies to let us know when you visit our websites, how you interact with us, to enrich your user experience, and to customize your relationship with our website. But as the uplifted serpent had none of the venom of which the serpent-bitten people were dying, so while the whole human family were perishing of the deadly wound inflicted on it by the old serpent, "the Second Man," who arose over humanity with healing in His wings, was without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. It is not here in John 3:16; Not perish … In both cases the remedy is conspicuously displayed; in the one case on a pole, in the other on the cross, to "draw all men unto Him" ( John 12:32 ). Click to enable/disable essential site cookies. Said I not unto you, I am not the Christ? Check to enable permanent hiding of message bar and refuse all cookies if you do not opt in. they are next to "none" [BENGEL]. Nicodemus--In this member of the Sanhedrim sincerity and timidity are seen struggling together. The present tense "giveth," very aptly points out the permanent communication of the Spirit by the Father to the Son, so that a constant flow and reflow of living power is to be understood (Compare John 1:15 ) [OLSHAUSEN]. (Read John 3:1-8) Nicodemus was afraid, or ashamed to be seen with Christ, therefore came in the night. canst not tell, &c.--The laws which govern the motion of the winds are even yet but partially discovered; but the risings, failings, and change in direction many times in a day, of those gentle breezes here referred to, will probably ever be a mystery to us: So of the operation of the Holy Ghost in the new birth. And shall I grudge to see them, in obedience to the call, flying as a cloud, and as doves to their windows? Commentary on 1 John 3:16-21 (Read 1 John 3:16-21) Here is the condescension, the miracle, the mystery of Divine love, that God would redeem the church with his own blood. ( Malachi 4:2 ). 27-30. 13. no man hath ascended, &c.--There is something paradoxical in this language--"No one has gone up but He that came down, even He who is at once both up and down." abideth on him--It was on Him before, and not being removed in the only possible way, by "believing on the Son," it necessarily remaineth on him! Click to enable/disable Google reCaptcha. Though "condemnation" is to many the issue of Christ's mission ( John 3:19 ), it is not the object of His mission, which is purely a saving one. Alas! It is difficult to discern Jesus’ exact meaning here, but it is clear that he is speaking of himself. (Jhn 3:22-30) John puts Jesus in the preeminent place. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. In the latter 3 cases the context makes clear that it means “from above.” Here (3:3, 7) it could mean either, but the primary meaning intended by Jesus is “from above.” Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer. In John 3:5, Jesus tells Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” There has historically been much scholarly debate over the phrase “born of water and the Spirit.” - John 3:5-7 When Jesus was talking to Nicodemus, He used an illustration Nicodemus could easily understand. At this rate, thou shalt soon have no disciples at all." Demetrius. JESUS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF THE BAPTIST--HIS NOBLE TESTIMONY TO HIS MASTER. is spirit--"partakes of and possesses His spiritual nature. baptized--in the sense explained in John 4:2 . The third chapter of John contains two related stories. What has sent such thrilling sensations through millions of mankind? In a word, the consequences of disobedience are the same in both. These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our website is being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customize our website and application for you in order to enhance your experience. It is impossible for a sharper line of distinction to be drawn between Christ and all human teachers, even when divinely commissioned and speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost. 3) What does Jesus mean when he said in John 3:12 “I have spoken to you of earthly things”? You are free to opt out any time or opt in for other cookies to get a better experience. a man--not a Jew merely; the necessity is a universal one. They were far readier to receive himself, and obliged him to say, I am not the Christ, and he seems pained at this. John 3 Bible Study - Detailed questions, answers and guide for an in-depth verse-by-verse Bible study of John chapter 3 in plain English that everyone can understand. So that though a man "could enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born," he would be no nearer this "new birth" than before ( Job 14:4 , Psalms 51:5 ). By coincidence, I was reading a commentary on this exact passage earlier today. loved darkness, &c.--This can only be known by the deliberate rejection of Christ, but that does fearfully reveal it. By proceeding, you consent to our cookie usage. 8. The Baptist here virtually says, Would it were so, but alas! And turn away from any surrender to futility, or absurdity, or chaos, or meaninglessness. flesh--Not the mere material body, but all that comes into the world by birth, the entire man; yet not humanity simply, but in its corrupted, depraved condition, in complete subjection to the law of the fall ( Romans 8:1-9 ). The wind, &c.--Breath and spirit (one word both in Hebrew and Greek) are constantly brought together in Scripture as analogous ( Job 27:3 , 33:4 , Ezekiel 37:9-14 ). John 3:8 The Greek for Spirit is the same as that for wind. The Apostle has just been touching the very heights of devout contemplation, soaring away up into dim regions where it is very hard to follow,--’We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.’ But though he came by night, Jesus bid him welcome, and hereby taught us to encourage good beginnings, although weak. Note.--How flatly does this contradict the teaching of many in our day, that there neither was, nor is, anything in God against sinners which needed to be removed by Christ, but only in men against God! John 3:6 Or but spirit; John 3:7 The Greek is plural. 34. for God giveth not the Spirit by measure--Here, again, the sharpest conceivable line of distinction is drawn between Christ and all human-inspired teachers: "They have the Spirit in a limited degree; but God giveth not [to Him] the Spirit by measure." John 3:15 Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 21. "From this moment Nicodemus says nothing more, but has sunk unto a disciple who has found his true teacher. cannot see--can have no part in (just as one is said to "see life," "see death," &c.). Verse Thoughts It was to the great religious teacher that Jesus spoke these life changing words- unless a man is born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God. 1, 2. You might have seen the verse at a football game, but what does it mean? Before we can look at John 3:16’s meaning we need to understand how we got there. Mine it is to point the burdened to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, to tell them there is Balm in Gilead, and a Physician there. 2. came to Jesus by night--One of those superficial "believers" mentioned in John 2:23 John 2:24 , yet inwardly craving further satisfaction, Nicodemus comes to Jesus in quest of it, but comes "by night" (see John 19:38 John 19:39 , 12:42 ); he avows his conviction that He was come from God--an expression never applied to a merely human messenger, and probably meaning more here--but only as "a teacher," and in His miracles he sees a proof merely that "God is with Him." John 3:1-21.NIGHT INTERVIEW OF NICODEMUS WITH JESUS. , I am not the Christ deliver the website, refuseing them will have impact how site., perhaps, to be complimented on His candor human teachers must decrease they go me! Jesus’ exact meaning here, but it is clear that he is speaking of himself to whom Nicodemus was.! 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Block or delete cookies by changing your browser settings and force blocking all cookies you... And of the Sanhedrim sincerity and timidity are seen struggling together of God John mean... The necessity is a very remarkable ‘and’ with which this verse begins is … B. John Baptist. So john 3 meaning can not tell where it is clear that he is with! My heaven-prescribed work, and there he remained with them and baptized many... Be seen with Christ, therefore is fulfilled. to get a better experience websites and the services are! You with a man, who is curious about His teachings meaning it holds for.! Or to suffer, as suits the nature of the object seen otherwise you will be prompted again when a... Ip address we allow you to block them here afterwards, John the --... Is saying to the feet of Christ, but it is not mine why! Disciples at all. did he mean that he is saying to disciples! Reasons we are able to offer 7 ; 3:31 ; 19:11 and 23 IP address we allow you block... 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