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John 3:9 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. How Nicodemus, consulting only with carnal reason, persists in his apprehension concerning the absurdity and impossibility of our Saviour's notion of regeneration, or being born of the Spirit. Nicodemus said, How can these things be?

Learn hence, That the great cause of men's ignorance in matters of salvation, and the mysteries of religion, is consulting their own natural reason without submitting their understandings to the authority of divine revelation. Till they can give a reason for every thing they believe, they cry out with Nicodemus, How can these things be?

Whereas, though we cannot give a reason for all gospel mysteries which we believe, we can give a good reason why we believe them, namely, because God hath revealed them. No man can be a Christian who refuses to submit his understanding to the authority of divine revelation.

Observe, 2. How our Saviour reproves Nicodemus for, and upbraids him with, his ignorance, ver. 10, and his infidelity, ver 12. First his ignorance is reproved, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? As if Christ had said, "Ignorance in any, as to the fundamentals of religion, is shameful, though but in a common learner, much more in a teacher and master, and he a teacher and master in Israel: now thou art one of them, and yet knowest not these things!

Learn hence, 1. That a man may be very knowing himself, and take upon him to teach and instruct others. and yet be very ignorant of the nature, and much unacquainted with the work, of regeneration upon his own soul: a man may be very sharp-sighted , as the eagle, in the mysteries of art and nature, and yet blind as a mole in the things of God.

2. That ignorance, in the fundamentals of religion especially, is very culpable and shameful in any that enjoy the means of knowledge, but especially in those that undertake to teach and instruct others. Art thou a teacher, thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things?

Next, our Saviour upbraids him for his infideltiy, ver. 12. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not. This infidelity received its aggravation from the facility, and perspicuity of our Saviour's doctrine. I have told you earthly things; that is, I have set forth spiritual things by earthly similitudes, not in a style suitable to the sublimity of their own nature.

Let the ministers of Christ learn from their Master's example, in all their discourses to accommodate themselves, and descend as low as may be, to the capacities of their people: I have told you earthly things.

2. That even spiritual things, when they are shadowed forth by earthly similitudes, and brought down in the plainest manner to the capacities of their people, yet are they very slow to understand them, and very backward to believe them. I have told you of earthly things, and ye believe them not.

Consult other comments:

John 3:9 - The Greek Testament

John 3:9 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

John 3:9 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

John 3:9 - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

John 3:9 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

John 3:9 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

John 3:9 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

John 3:9 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

John 3:9 - College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

John 3:9 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

John 3:9 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

John 3:9 - Expositors Bible Commentary

John 3:9 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

John 3:9 - The Expositor’s Greek Testament by Robertson

John 3:9 - F.B. Meyer's Through the Bible Commentary

John 3:9 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

John 3:9 - Geneva Bible Notes

John 3:9 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

John 3:9 - Godet Commentary (Luke, John, Romans and 1 Corinthians)

John 3:9 - Henry Alford's Greek Testament

John 3:9 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

John 3:9 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

John 3:9 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

John 3:9 - The Popular Commentary on the Bible by Kretzmann

John 3:9 - Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer's New Testament Commentary

John 3:9 - Church Pulpit Commentary

John 3:9 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

John 3:9 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

John 3:9 - Old and New Testaments Restoration Commentary

John 3:9 - Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

John 3:9 - Ryle's Expository Thoughts on the Gospels

John 3:9 - A Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 3:9 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

John 3:9 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

John 3:9 - You Can Understand the Bible: Study Guide Commentary Series by Bob Utley

John 3:9 - Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament

John 3:9 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

John 3:9 - Combined Bible Commentary

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament