John 3:12 If I have told you of earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? Christ concludes that it ought to be laid to the charge of Nicodemus and others, if they do not make progress in the doctrine of the Gospel; for he shows that the blame does not lie with him, that all are not properly instructed, since he comes down even to the earth, that he may raise us to heaven. Biblical studies have demonstrated the total inadequacy of the proof text method of handling the bible, or the singling out of specific texts. To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use the convenient, Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament, The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, ἃ τοῖς ἐπὶ γῆς ἔτι διατρίβουσιν ἀνθρώποις δυνατὰ ὑπάρξαι τε καὶ νοηθῆναι. (John 1:12) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, (John 5:27) and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. John 3:12 Translation & Meaning. 5, 6, is a supernatural one. (Comp. The context includes previous witness borne by Him, and there must have been much which is unrecorded. However, when Jesus’ death has not yet taken place, Nicodemus could not be expected to understand that the crucifixion is in fact in view (unless we think that John 3.16 and onward is in fact not Jesus’ words, but John… Christ's discourse with Nicodemus. τὰ δὲ ἐν οὐρανοῖς τίς ἐξιχνίασε. Interactive Bible study with John Piper. The earthly things would therefore include the phenomena of the new birth. But in that way Jesus could not attain to the final aim which He sought, the full revelation of the divine mystery, of the plan of salvation. 2. Its basis is insight into the natural character of man—his deep depravity. I fully realize that Jesus’ death on the cross is very important to John. The Theme of Fellowship in 1 John. I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. But John and Jesus were close in … It is too common a fault that men desire to be taught in an ingenious and witty style. The teaching can only proceed step by step from the known to the unknown; but if the will refuses or the intellect neglects to know the knowable, the man cuts himself off from the power to receive truth. The context includes previous witness borne by Him, and there must have been much which is unrecorded. Earthly things. It is in this literal sense it is to be taken here; not things of earthly nature, but things whose proper place is on earth. Did he mean that he is discussing with Nicodemus the things that can be done on earth? John Piper Jan 8, … Experience shows that belief in the divinity of Christ and His atonement disappeared from the Church directly when it failed in the recognition of human depravity. We must accordingly suppose doctrines like that of the divinity of Christ. 10, spoken to a member of the Chief Council, must have brought about a decision either for the one side or the other. After the loud, public commotion at the temple, John transitions to a quiet, nighttime discussion. Note on John 16:12.). The author of the fourth Gospel was then clearly aware of two ways of teaching adopted by Jesus; the one the usual, in which he explained earthly things, evidently always in their relation to God and His kingdom; the other, which contrasted in many respects with the first, and which Jesus employed only exceptionally, in which He spoke directly, and as a witness, of God and the things of God, always naturally in connection with the fate of mankind. The words, ye believe not, are not to be taken absolutely with respect to Nicodemus. receiveth not, for they are foolishness unto him, ο εκ του ουρανου καταβας. 9 onwards, all remonstrance from Nicodemus ceases. Comp. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? What does 1 John 3:12 mean? In the subsequent history, he is represented as a believer in Christ. Now such is precisely the character of His language in the fourth Gospel." Thus it is said (John 3:13) that the Son of man who is in heaven came down out of heaven, and in John 3:31, John 3:32 that He that cometh out of heaven beareth witness (on earth) of what He has seen and heard; and that, being sent from God, He speaketh the words of God (John 3:34). In 2:23-25 John says that many in Jerusalem believed in Jesus because they saw the signs that he was doing. With this declaration, which must have struck the more severely, since Nicodemus had begun with the confession, that Christ is a teacher come from God, and had therefore bound himself to accept without examination what He offered him, the Saviour gave the last blow to the dying unbelief of Nicodemus. 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