John 3

For God

John 3:1-21

John 3:3

Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." (use)

We are made to hear [in effect] not a conversation between two persons but the dialogue of church and synagogue, in which (according to the Christian view) the former completes and fulfills the latter, which is in consequence superseded.

Barrett, C.K., 1955. The Gospel According to St John: An Introduction with Commentary and Notes on the Greek Text. pg.202

John 19:39

Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night,... (use)

John 7:50

Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, (use)

John 7:32

The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. (use)

One of the things which impresses the writer as he reads the Gospels, is the blessed accessibility of the Lord Jesus.

Pink, A.W., 1945. Exposition of the Gospel of John.

John 3:4

Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?" (use)

"Had our Lord said: 'Every Gentile must be born again,' he {Nicodemus} would have understood."

Dods, M., 1912. "The Gospel According to John." In The Expositor's Greek Testament.

John 3:5

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (use)

John 1:33

I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ (use)

John 3:8

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. (use)

The wind blows in a variety of directions - we hear its sound, perceive its operation in the motion of the trees, etc., and feel it on ourselves - but we cannot discern the air itself; we only know that it exists by the effects which it produces: so is every one who is born of the Spirit: the effects are as discernible and as sensible as those of the wind; but itself we cannot see.

Clarke, A., 1831. Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible.

John 3:9

Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" (use)

Psalm 25:4

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. (use)

Psalm 25:5

Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. (use)

Luke 2:26

And it had been revealed to him{Simeon} by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. (use)

I knew myself to be so horribly guilty that I remember feeling that if God did not punish me for sin, He ought to do so. I felt that the judge of all the earth ought to condemn such sin as mine. I sat on the judgement seat and I condemned myself to perish, for I confessed that, had I been God, I could have done no other than send such a guilty creature as I was down to the lowest hell.

Spurgeon, C., 2012. The Spurgeon Anthology. pg.82

John 3:10

Jesus answered him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?" (use)

John 3:11

Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. (use)

For my own part, I have no doubt that Christ mentions himself in connection with all the prophets of God, and speaks generally in the person of all. Philosophers and other vain-glorious teachers frequently bring forward trifles which they have themselves invented; but Christ claims it as peculiar to himself and all the servants of God, that they deliver no doctrine but what is certain.

Calvin, J., 1555. Commentary.

John 3:13

No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. (use)

John 3:13

No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. (NLT) (use)

Proverbs 30:4

Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know! (use)

John 3:14

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, (use)

Numbers 21:5

And the people spoke against God and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food." (use)

Numbers 21:6

Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. (use)

Numbers 21:7

And the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people. (use)

Numbers 21:9

So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. (use)

The bitten Israelite might be all but dead. The poison wrought swiftly; but if he from afar lifted his glazing eyeballs to the serpent on the pole, a swifter healing overtook the death that was all but conqueror, and cast it out, and he who was borne half unconscious to the foot of the standard went away a sound man, 'walking, and leaping, and praising God.' So it may be with any man, however deeply tainted with sin, if he will trust himself to Jesus, and from 'the ends of the earth' 'look unto' Him 'and be saved,' His power knows no hopeless cases. He can cure all. He will cure our most ingrained sin, and calm the hottest fever of our poisoned blood, if we will let Him. The only thing that we have to do is to gaze, with our hearts in our eyes and faith in our hearts, on Him, as He is lifted on the Cross and the throne.

Maclaren, A., 1904. Expositions of Holy Scripture.

John 3:15

that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. (use)

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (use)

This does not mean that God approved the conduct of men, but that he had benevolent feelings toward them, or was “earnestly desirous” of their happiness. God hates wickedness, but he still desires the Happiness of those who are sinful. “He hates the sin, but loves the sinner.” A parent may love his child and desire his welfare, and yet be strongly opposed to the conduct of that child.

Barnes, A., 1884. Albert Barnes Notes on the Whole Bible.

But this text tells us that it was with God that it all started. It was God who sent his Son, and he sent him because he loved men. At the back of everything is the love of God.

Barclay, W., 1953. Daily Study Bible.

This was the mystery hidden before times eternal, that God would enter the lists of humanity as a man, paying the penalty of human transgression himself in the person of his Son and discharging the debt due to the fall in Eden. It was primarily for the purpose of delivering the flesh of the Messiah to humanity that the device of a chosen people had been provided by God in the days of Abraham; and, despite the will of the chosen people to reject him, Christ here unfolded the full mystery to one of the noblest and best men in the very council of the Sanhedrin itself.

Coffman, J.B., 1992. Coffman Commentaries.

Let us remember, on the other hand, that while life is promised universally to all who believe in Christ, still faith is not common to all. For Christ is made known and held out to the view of all, but the elect alone are they whose eyes God opens, that they may seek him by faith.

Calvin, J., 1555. Commentary.

John 3:19

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (use)

As sinful people, we have every reason to fear God's judgment; it is part of our motivation to be reconciled with God.

Sproul, R.C., 2018. What Does it Mean to Fear God.

There may be some sins of which a man cannot speak, but there is no sin which the blood of Christ cannot was away.

Spurgeon, C., 1858. The Evil and its Remedy.

Jonah 1:2

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me. (use)

After a year like this, we believe there is no naught list. So go on Britain, treat yourself to the best Christmas ever. #TescoNoNaughtyList

Tesco. 2020. TescoNoNaughtyList.

Isaiah 64:6

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (use)

Till men have faith in Christ, their best services are but glorious sins.

Brooks, T., 1824. The select works of Thomas Brooks.

Genesis 18:25

Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" (use)

Or consider the question of our fundamental problem as humans: Is our fundamental problem sin, in which case we all equally stand condemned before a holy God? Or is our fundamental problem oppression, in which case members of dominant groups are tainted by guilt in a way that members of subordinate groups are not?

Shenvi, N., Sawyer, P., 2019. The Incompatibility of Critical Theory and Christianity. The Gospel Coalition.

Genesis 19:24

Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven. (use)

The cross stands high above the opinions of men and to that cross all opinions must come at last for judgment.

Tozer, A.W., 2005. The Radical Cross.

The cross brings the heinousness of our sin into view as we look upon the crucified Son of God. However, seeing Christ crucified also enables us to understand more about the true nature of our sin and depravity.

Batzig, N.T., 2019., Who Delivered Up Jesus to Die?

John 19:39

Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. (use)

John 19:40

So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. (use)

Topics and Themes

Key Verse

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (use)