John 3:1-21 : Easy-to-Read Version
Jesus and Nicodemus
3 1There was a man named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was one of the Pharisees.* He was an important Jewish leader. 2One night Nicodemus came to Jesus. Nicodemus said, "Teacher, we know that you are a teacher sent from God. No person can do these miracles* that you do without God's help." 3Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born again. If a person is not born again, then that person cannot be in God's kingdom." 4Nicodemus said, "But if a man is already old, how can he be born again? A person cannot enter his mother's body again! So a person cannot be born a second time!" 5But Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born from water and the Spirit.* If a person is not born from water and the Spirit, then he cannot enter God's kingdom. 6A person's body is born from his human parents. But a person's spiritual life is born from the Spirit. 7Don't be surprised that I told you, 'You must be born again.' 8The wind blows where it wants to go. You hear the wind blow. But you don't know where the wind comes from or where the wind is going. It is the same with every person that is born from the Spirit." 9Nicodemus asked, "How can all this be possible?" 10Jesus said, "You are an important teacher of Israel (the Jews). But you still don't understand these things? 11I tell you the truth. We talk about what we know. We tell about what we have seen. But you people don't accept what we tell you. 12I have told you about things here on earth. But you do not believe me. So surely you will not believe me if I tell you about the things of heaven! 13The only one that has ever gone up to heaven is the One that came down from heaven--the Son of Man.* 14"Moses lifted up the snake in the desert.* It is the same with the Son of Man. The Son of Man must be lifted up too. 15Then every person that believes in the Son of Man can have life forever." 16Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that every person that believes in him would not be lost, but have life forever. 17God sent his Son into the world. God did not send his Son to judge the world guilty. God sent his Son so that the world could be saved through his Son. 18The person that believes in God's Son is not judged (condemned). But the person that does not believe is already judged. Why? Because that person has not believed in God's only Son. 19People are judged by this fact: The Light (goodness) has come into the world. But men did not want light. They wanted darkness (sin). Why? Because they were doing evil things. 20Every person that does evil hates the light. That person will not come to the light. Why? Because then the light will show all the bad things he has done. 21But the person that follows the true way comes to the light. Then the light will show that the things that person has done were done through God.*
Pharisees The Pharisees were a Jewish religious group that claimed to follow carefully all Jewish laws and customs. miracle(s) Miracles are amazing works done by God's power. Spirit, Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, he does God's work among people in the world. Son of Man A name Jesus used for himself. In Dan. 7:13-14, this is the name for the Messiah, the one God chose to save his people. Moses lifted ... desert When God's people were dying from snake bites, God told Moses to put a brass snake on a pole for them to look at and be healed. Read Num. 21:4-9. Verses 16-21 Some scholars think verses 16-21 are Jesus' words. Others think John wrote them.