John 3:7-12
John 3:7 (KJB)
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Marvel - Be astonished or be amazed
It seems Nicodemus was really perplexed to the point that he was astonished that the Lord was pointing to the second birth. This was because Nicodemus had not understood yet what it was to be born from above. Nicodemus was used to the animal sacrifices and the visibility of these offerings. Now Jesus begins to state that salvation is no longer a visible thing. Salvation begins inside the person when they receive the electing grace of God and then the Holy Spirit indwells them. This is all done without any external circumstances. Then salvation manifests itself to the world by means of the changed person and the evidence is their works and words and their thirst for the things of God while rejecting the evils of this world. Once a person thirsted for the things of evil but now they thirst for the things of righteousness and God, it gives good evidence they have been transformed but only God can truly know a heart.
John 3:8 (KJB)
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Listeth - Purpose or wills
Here Jesus uses the elements of the world to describe to Nicodemus the new birth. Just as the wind blows and we cannot see it, yet when the trees shake or the dust is kicked up by it, we can see the effects of the wind. No one knows where the wind starts, or where it stops, or in which direction it is going to blow. Jesus then likens the invisible wind to those who are born again by the Spirit of God. The Spirit moves on whom He wills and brings salvation to individuals He chooses. Just as we do not know the direction of the wind, so we do not know the plans of the Spirit and but we can see the manifestations of the Spirit in the individual that He indwells, plus we do not know who He is going to save next. This is the mystery of the Great Commission and why we must get the Gospel out to the whole world.
John 3:9 (KJB)
Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
Now it seems the attitude of Nicodemus was changing. It went from being astonished to a sincere query about how these things must be. Nicodemus eventually became a saved person and a follower of Jesus, so maybe at this point God was beginning to call him. The thief on the cross went from a mocker to a believer, so maybe here was the beginning of the salvation of Nicodemus as he now wanted to know about being born again and the workings of the Spirit.
John 3:10 (KJB)
Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
Master - Teacher
Jesus now gives Nicodemus a mild rebuke asking him a question that if you are a teacher of Israel, then how come you do not know these things? There is much in the Hebrew Scriptures written concerning the Spirit of God, so for Nicodemus to be ignorant of the workings of the Spirit would mean he was not as Scripturally based as he should be. During the ministry of Jesus, He constantly referred to the Scriptures. Here are some examples of the mentioning of the Holy Spirit in the Hebrew Scriptures.
(Gen 1:2 KJV) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
(Gen 41:38 KJV) And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
(Exo 31:2-3 KJV) See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: {3} And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
John 3:11 (KJB)
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
Testify - Bear Witness of
Receive - Grasp, take hold of, or seize
Here Jesus speaks of Himself and John the Baptist concerning speaking about the things they definitely know about and this could also include all the prophets of the past which were sent to the nation Israel. Then they had borne witness to the things which they have seen, both spiritually and physically. The spiritual aspect at this time could also come by revelation. Then Jesus states that they have been giving a true witness yet Israel would not receive it. They would rather keep holding on to the law than to the real way a person can become saved. They would not receive the true witness rather they held on to their traditions which would be to their detriment.
John 3:12 (KJB)
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Here Jesus is telling Nicodemus that He was using earthly things to illustrate what had to take place in a person to become saved. Jesus used examples such as being born, the wind, water and the such but these examples had astonished Nicodemus. If he could not accept the earthly things, then if Jesus told him about the heavenly things, then how would he be able to comprehend them? For Nicodemus to understand the heavenly things, he must become born again which would cause him to be spiritually alive and he would then be able to comprehend the spiritual which transcends the corporeal. Then, once he is born again, he can understand the heavenly things because his eyes of understanding will be open. (Eph 1:18 KJV) The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, Then we see Christ in a new light, no longer according to the flesh but according to who He really is.