There was one of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Judean council, who came to Jesus by night. “Rabbi,” he said, “We know that you are a teacher sent by God; no one could perform these signs of yours unless God were with him.”
Jesus answered, “In truth, in very truth I tell you, unless a man has been born over again he cannot see the reign of God.”
“But how is it possible,” said Nicodemus, “for a man to be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”
Jesus answered, “In truth I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born from water and spirit. Meat can give birth only to meat; it is spirit that gives birth to spirit. You shouldn’t be astonished, then, when I tell you you must be born over again.
“The wind blows where it wishes; you hear the sound of it; but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So with everyone who is born from spirit.”
Nicodemus replied, “How is this possible?”
“What?” said Jesus. “Is this famous teacher of Israel ignorant of such things? In very truth I tell you, we speak of what we know, and testify to what we have seen, and yet you reject all our testimony. If you disbelieve me when I talk to you about things on earth, how are you to know if I should talk about the Heavens?
“No one ever went up into Heaven except the one who came down from Heaven, the son of Adam whose home is in Heaven. This son of Adam must be lifted up as the serpent was lifted up by Moses in the wilderness, so that everyone who has faith in him may possess eternal life.
“God loved the world so much that he gave his only son, that everyone who has faith in him may not die but have eternal life. It was not to condemn the world that God sent his son into the world, but that through him the world might be saved.
“The man who puts his faith in him does not come under judgment; but the unbeliever has already been judged in that he has not given his allegiance to God’s only son. Here lies the test: The light has come into the world; but men preferred darkness to light because their deeds were evil. Bad men all hate the light and avoid it, for fear that their practices would be shown up. The honest man comes to the light so that it may be clearly seen that God is in all he does.”