Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?…
I. THE AMAZED INTERROGATION (ver. 4).
1. Its origination: astonishment and perplexity.
2. Its intention: investigation and inquiry.
3. Its explanation: the new birth an impossibility.
II. THE SUBLIME ELUCIDATION.
1. The exposition (ver. 5), in which are noticeable —
(1) That the former truth is repeated with the old solemnity, authority, particularity, universality, certainty. Christ conceded nothing to the rank and character of His interlocutor.
(2) That the hard truth is explained with much simplicity, fulness, kindness, and condescension, also furnishing a pattern for His followers in general and His official servants in particular.
2. The argumentation (ver. 6). The law of propagation is one throughout the realm of animated existence — every creature after its kind.
(1) In the sphere of matter like produces like (Matthew 7:16; Luke 6:44).
(2) In the loftier domain of man, nature can never rise higher than itself.
III. THE SUBLIME ILLUSTRATION.
1. The natural phenomenon: the wind, selected as an emblem of the Spirit, probably because of —
(1) Its etherial character;
(2) Its free motion;
(3) Its inscrutable mystery.
2. The spiritual interpretation (ver. 8). The Spirit's grace is like the wind in respect of —
(1) Its origin, coming from heaven.
(2) Its sovereignty, blowing where it listeth.
(3) Its movement, going softly.
(4) Its influence, penetrating and quickening.
(5) Its results.
Parallel VersesKJV: Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?