Tuesday, July 27, 2021

John 3:1-21 Devotional Bible Study by Steve Wilson

John 3:1-21

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”


Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]


“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”


Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]


“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.


10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[e] 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[f] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[g]


16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.



  1. John 3:3 The Greek for again also means from above; also in verse 7.
  2. John 3:6 Or but spirit
  3. John 3:7 The Greek is plural.
  4. John 3:8 The Greek for Spirit is the same as that for wind.
  5. John 3:13 Some manuscripts Man, who is in heaven
  6. John 3:14 The Greek for lifted up also means exalted.
  7. John 3:15 Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 21.


The Goal

I love how this passage shows God’s heart. He doesn’t want to condemn the world. He wants to save it. He loves it. He loves us. He wants to give us a new start, a new life in Him, as we step out of the darkness into His light.


Nicodemus came to Jesus at night, under cover of darkness, but eventually stepped into the light when he helped take Jesus’ body down from the cross and bought the herbs to anoint Him for burial (John 19:38-42).


How do you need to step into the light today? You may have already been born again, but something in your spirit is still feeling the darkness today. Everything you’ve done “has been done in the sight of God” (v. 21). He already knows everything you’ve done, thought, and said. Now He’s calling you to come out of it and live in the fulness of the new life He’s given you. Close your eyes and feel His Spirit blowing across you like a refreshing, life-giving breeze.


God is dealing gently with you. He doesn’t want to condemn you. He wants to save you.



Lifted Up

John 3:14-15

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”


Jesus said “the Son of Man must be lifted up.” Must be. Lifted up. Will be. Lifted up. The Son will be exalted. He will be praised, either now or at the end. You have the choice to lift Him up now by your own choice, or you will later when you have no more choices to make.


Jesus doesn’t want to condemn anyone, but this passage plainly says that if you don’t believe in Him, you stand condemned already. You haven’t taken the “out” God is giving you. Take the out! Lift up the Son in your heart and life today, and you will have eternal life!



No One Has Ever Gone into Heaven?

John 3:13

“No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.”


But didn’t Enoch and Elijah go to Heaven before Jesus came?


They were taken to Heaven. They didn’t go of their own accord. Only Jesus has the authority to go to Heaven by His own will, and He has the authority to take others with Him. We don’t go to Heaven on our own merit; it’s only through His grace in Him taking us there. And He wants to take us there to be with Him where He is. The only reason He came down from Heaven was to come get us.


Jesus is reaching out His hand to you today, saying, “Will you come with Me?”


John 14:1-6 - “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”


“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”




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