John 3:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 3:21, NIV: "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."

John 3:21, ESV: "But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”"

John 3:21, KJV: "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."

John 3:21, NASB: "But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealedas having been performed in God.'"

John 3:21, NLT: "But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.'"

John 3:21, CSB: "But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.""

What does John 3:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Greek phrase translated as "practices the truth," or "does what is true," or "lives by truth" is poiōn tēn alētheian. This uses the same term used to describe Jesus as the "true" Light in John 1:9. The phrase implies those who are committed to reality, fact, and honesty—all of which lead a person to Christ. Verse 20 says that a life without Christ is meaningless, and ultimately ends in disaster. Hiding from Christ, the Light, is an effort to keep our evil actions hidden. In contrast, according to verse 21, life in Christ results in our actions being approved by God. Rebirth through Christ (John 3:5) gives us meaning and purpose (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10). Those who put their effort into pleasing God don't have to be ashamed of how they've spent their time (2 Timothy 2:15). Those who want to cling to evil hide from the light, those who want to be free from evil move into it.