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1ONE night Nicodemus, a leading Jew and a Pharisees,

2came to see Jesus. "Rabbi," he began, "we realize that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could show the signs that you show unless God were with him."

3"Believe me," returned Jesus, "when I assure you that a man cannot see the kingdom of God without being born again."

4"And how can a man who has grown old possibly be born?" replied Nicodemus. "Surely he cannot go into his mother's womb a second time to be born?"

5"I do assure you," said Jesus, "that unless a man is born from water and from spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

6Flesh gives birth to flesh and spirit gives birth to spirit:

7you must not be surprised that I told you that all of you must be born again.

8The wind blows where it likes, you can hear the sound of it but you have no idea where it comes from or where it goes. Nor can you tell how a man is born by the wind of the Spirit."

9"How on earth can things like this happen?" replied Nicodemus.

10"So you are the teacher of Israel," said Jesus, "and you do not understand such things?

11I assure you that we are talking about what we know and we are witnessing to what we have observed, yet you will not accept our evidence.

12Yet if I have spoken to you about things which happen on this earth and you will not believe me, what chance is there that you will believe me if I tell you about what happens in Heaven?

13No one has ever been up to Heaven except the Son of Man who came down from Heaven.

14The Son of Man must be lifted above the heads of menas Moses lifted up that serpent in the desert

15so that any man who believes in, him may have eternal life.

16For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him should not be lost, but should have eternal life.

17God has not sent his Son into the world to pass sentence upon it, but to save itthrough him.

18Any man who believes in him is not judged at all. It is the one who will not believe who stands already condemned, because he did not believe "in the character of God's only Son.

19This [is] the judgmentthat light has entered the world and men have preferred darkness to light because their deeds were evil.

20Everybody who does wrong hates the light and keeps away from it, for fear his deeds may be exposed.

21But everybody who is living by the truth will come to the light to make it plain that all he has done has been done through God."

22After this Jesus went into the country of Judaea with his disciples and stayed there with them while the work of baptism was being carried on.

23John, too, was in Aenon near Salim, baptising people because there was plenty of water in that district and they were continually coming to him for baptism.

24(John, of course, had not yet been put in prison.)

25This led to a question arising between John's disciples and one of the Jews about the whole matter of being cleansed.

26They approached John and said to him,' Rabbi, look, the man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan, the one you testified to, is now baptising and everybody is coming to him!"

27"A man can receive nothing at all," replied John, unless it is given him from Heaven.

28You yourselves can witness that I said, 'I am not Christ but I have been sent as his forerunner.'

29It is the bridegroom who possesses the bride, yet the bridegroom's friend who merely stands and listens to him can be overjoyed to hear the bridegroom's voice. That is why my happiness is now complete.

30He must grow greater and greater and I less and less.

31"The one who comes from above is naturally above everybody. The one who arises from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks from the earth. The one who comes from Heaven is above all others

32and he bears witness to what he has seen and heardyet no one is accepting his testimony.

33Yet if a man does accept it, he is acknowledging the fact that God is true.

34For the one whom God sent speaks the authentic words of Godand there can be no measuring of the Spirit given to [him]!

35The Father loves the Sun and has put everything under his control.

36The man who believes in the Son has eternal life. The man who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; he lives under the anger of God."

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