“You may not be astonished that I said to you, ‘It is necessary for you to be born from above.’ The spirit spirits where it desires and you hear the voice of it, but you have not discerned from where it comes and to where it goes away. In this way is everyone having been born from the spirit.” Nicodemus answered and said to him, “How are these things able to come to be?”
Nicodemus “may not be astonished” because the spirit which accompanies the new birth may already be at work in him. And Nicodemus wants it.
Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel, and you do not know these things. Amen, amen I state to you that what we have known we are speaking and what we have discerned we are testifying, and you are not laying hold of our testimony. If I say to you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I may say to you sky-things? And no one has ascended into the sky except the one who stepped down from the sky—the Son of Man.”
Strange that a religious leader knows nothing about the new birth….. And yet, the explanation for Nicodemus must start with the heavenly origin of Jesus.
“And just as Moses lifted-up the serpent in the wilderness, in this way it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted-up, in order that everyone believing in him may have eternal life.”
That explanation continues with the essential fact that Son of Man must die so that those who believe in him may receive new birth and “have eternal life.” The “serpent in the wilderness” was “elevated” by Moses at God’s command so that any one of the people bitten by a plague of serpents might look upon it and thereby live and not die.
“Because in this way God loved-in-action the world that as a result he gave the Son, the unique, in order that everyone believing into him may not self-destroy, but may have eternal life.”
The heavenly origin of this new birth out of darkness into “eternal life” for human beings arises from the “love-in-action” of God.
“Because God did not send out his Son into the world in order that he may judge the world, but in order that the world may be saved through him.”
That “love-in-action” of God includes the postponement of judgment.
“The one believing into him is not judged. In fact the one not believing has already been judged, in that he has not believed into the name of the unique Son of God.”