John 3

1There was a man named Nicodemus. He was a Pharisee, a ruler and leader of the Jews. 2One night Nicodemus came to Jesus. He said, ‘Master, we know you are a teacher sent by God. We know this because no person could do the big works you are doing if God did not help him.’ 3Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth. No person can see God’s kingdom if he is not born again.’ 4Nicodemus said, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he go inside of his mother again and be born?’ 5Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth. This new birth is by water and by the Spirit. No person can enter God’s kingdom if he has not been born that way. 6That which is born of a person is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7You must not be surprised when I say, "You must be born again." 8The wind blows where it wants to blow. You can hear the sound of it. But you do not know where it comes from, and you do not know where it goes. It is the same way with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ 9Nicodemus asked Jesus, ‘How can such things be? 10Jesus answered, ‘Are you a teacher of the people of Israel and you do not know this? 11I tell you the truth. We know what we are talking about. We talk about the things we have seen. But you will not believe what we tell you. 12You do not believe what I have told you about things on earth. So how will you believe if I tell you about things in heaven? 13No one has ever gone up to heaven-only the One who came down from heaven. That One is the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14Moses lifted up a snake on a piece of wood in the desert. So the Son of Man must be lifted up. 15Then everyone who believes in him will not die, but will live for ever. 16‘God loved the world so very, very much that he gave his only Son. Because he did that, everyone who believes in him will not lose his life, but will live for ever. 17God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world. He sent him to save the world. 18‘Everyone who believes in the Son will not be judged. But everyone who does not believe in him is judged already, because he does not believe in the name of God’s only Son. 19Light came into the world. But people wanted to be in the dark because they did wrong things. They did not want the light. That is why they are judged. 20Everyone who does wrong things hates light. He does not come to the light because he is afraid people will see what he does and will say it is bad. 21But everyone who does what is right comes to the light. He wants people to see that God helps him to do what is right.’

22After this, Jesus and his disciples came into the country of Judea. Jesus stayed there with them and baptized people. 23John was also baptizing people in the river at Aenon, near the town of Salim. There was much water. People came to him and were baptized. 24This was before John was put in prison. 25John’s disciples and the leaders of the Jews were talking about how to be clean, the way God wants us to be clean. 26They came to John and said, ‘Teacher, there was a man with you on the other side of the Jordan River. You were telling people about him. Now he himself is baptizing and all the people are going to him.’ 27John answered, ‘A man cannot get anything unless God in heaven gives it to him. 28You yourselves heard what I said. I am not the Christ but I have been sent ahead of the Christ. 29The wife belongs to the man who has married her. The man’s best friend may stand and listen. And when he hears what that man says, he is very glad for him. So what I hear makes me very glad in the same way. 30He must become more and more great, but I must become less and less great. 31‘The one who comes from heaven is greater than all other people. The one who is of the earth talks about things on earth. So the one who comes from heaven is greater than all. 32He tells what he has seen and heard, but no one wants to believe what he says. 33If a person believes what the one from heaven says, then he also says God is true. 34The one God sent speaks the words of God. God does not give him the Spirit little by little, but he gives the Spirit in full. 35The Father loves his Son and has put everything in his hand. 36He who believes in the Son will live for ever. He who does not believe in the Son will not live. God will be very angry with him for ever.’

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