The Story of Nicodemus
3:1 – Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus… “Pharisee” means “separated one.” They were an organized religious body of the Jews. Nicodemus’ name means “victor over the people” (Young’s Bible Dictionary)). He was a notable leader of the Sanhedrin (which was the Jewish Supreme Court). Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they emphasized rules and regulations instead of spiritual transformation (read John 2:1-2).
3:2 – The same came to him by night… the text does not explain why Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who comes from God… When Nicodemus met Jesus, he addressed Him as Rabbi (which means “teacher”). It was a term of respect.
3:3 – …unless one is born anew, he can’t see God’s Kingdom. To see the kingdom of God is the same as to enter the kingdom of God “(The Interpreter’s Bible). Jesus could see into Nicodemus’s heart, and He knew Nicodemus needed a spiritual transformation. To be born
“anew” can mean either “again” or “from above.” (Read 2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5;
1 John 2:29; 5:4).
3:5 – …unless one is born of water and spirit, he can’t enter God’s Kingdom. “Jesus referred not to literal water here but to the need for cleansing (read Ezekiel 36:24-27). Water is used figuratively in the Old Testament. It refers to renewal or spiritual cleansing. It is especially true when used in conjunction with ‘spirit’ (John MacArthur). Read Psalms 51:10 and Isaiah 44:3.
3:6-7 – That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. We are born into an earthly family. To be admitted into the Kingdom of God we must be born “from above.” We must receive a “spiritual nature” that only God can give.
3:8 – We cannot control the wind, but we can feel it. We can see the damage that is caused by it. We cannot see the Holy Spirit. Through the life of a spirit-filled person, we can see one who is living a godly life.
3:9-10 – Nicodemus didn’t understand Jesus’ words. He would have understood the importance of teaching the commandments. I think Nicodemus was sincere in trying to do God’s will. But being “born-again” or “born from above” is required to become a member of the family of God.
-The Scripture passages are taken from the World English Bible (WEB).
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