We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the newest volume in the Concordia Commentary series: John 1:1–7:1 by William Weinrich. In the meantime, we’ve provided an excerpt below to give you a preview of Dr. Weinrich’s discussion on John 3:3.
“Unless One Is Begotten from Above, He Is Not Able to See the Kingdom of God” (Jn 3:3)
In his reply to Nicodemus Jesus confronts the Pharisee with the necessity of partaking in the Baptism of Jesus if one is to “see” the kingdom of God (Jn 3:3). At his Baptism the Spirit of God came down, “descending” (καταβαῖνον), that is, from above, and rested upon him (Jn 1:32). This event was “seen” by John the Baptist (τεθέαμαι, Jn 1:32; see also ἴδῃς, Jn 1:33), and this seeing brought John to recognition and confession: “This one is the Son of God” (Jn 1:34). This is the background for the response of Jesus to Nicodemus (Jn 3:3). [Read more…] about Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?