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John 3:9

ESV Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?"
NIV "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.
NASB Nicodemus responded and said to Him, 'How can these things be?'
CSB "How can these things be?" asked Nicodemus.
NLT How are these things possible?' Nicodemus asked.
KJV Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
NKJV Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

What does John 3:9 mean?

Nicodemus is a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin court. He is well educated, intelligent, and extremely interested in moral behavior. He knows the law of Moses and the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures very well. At the same time, Nicodemus came to Jesus looking for answers. In verse 2, he indicated that seeing miracles is what led him to believe Jesus was from God. However, as a Pharisee, his perspective is very legalistic.

From Nicodemus's point of view, what Jesus is saying about "the flesh" and "the Spirit," or being "born again" is completely upside down. What Nicodemus needs to realize is that knowledge and moral behavior aren't enough to make him right with God. So long as he thinks he can make things right by himself, he's going to be lost. So, Jesus lovingly humbles the renowned teacher. Jesus even points out that despite Nicodemus being a "teacher" of Israel, his knowledge is clearly incomplete (John 3:10).
What is the Gospel?
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