a paraphrase of
by Jon J. Cardwell
There was a man, a Pharisee,
That John tells in his news;
His name was Nicodemus
A ruler of the Jews:
Nic came to Jesus then by night,
And said, “O Rabbi, we
Do know that You have come from God,
A teacher, plain to see.
“No one can do these miracles
Except that God is with Him.”
Jesus answer’d, “Truly, truly,
None can see the kingdom―
Except that he is born again.”
Christ’s Word caught Nic off guard,
“How can a man be born when old?”
For Nic this Word was hard.
“Can he a second time return
Into his mother’s womb?”
“‘Cept born of water and Spirit:
In heav’n he’ll have no room.
Flesh bears flesh and Spirit spirit;
Don’t marvel at My Word.
The wind blows where it wants and its
Sound you know you’ve heard.
“Yet whence it comes and where it goes,
You haven’t got a clue;
Likewise they are, those Spirit-born,”
Christ Jesus told this Jew.
“How can this be?” again Nic ask’d;
Christ Jesus ask’d him flat,
“Art thou a teacher of the Jews,
Yet you can’t answer that?
“True, we speak that we know and
Have seen, and testify;
Our witness ye do not receive,
And let Me tell you why:
If I told you of things on earth
And you do not believe;
So when I speak of heaven’s truth,
How can you receive?
“No man ascended up to heav’n,
But He that came down first;
That is, the Son of God from heav’n,
Incarnate on the earth.
As Moses lifted up the snake
While in the wilderness;
So likewise must the Son of Man
Be lifted up to bless:
“To bless those with eternal life,
Who will believe by faith―
Upon the blessed Son of Man,
Their soul God will not waste.
For God so lov’d the world, He gave
His Son, Lord Jesus Christ,
That all believing in Him should
Not perish, but have life.”
The grace of God was manifest
In God’s Son on a tree;
God’s sovereign truth in God’s free grace
Hath been proclaim’d to thee.
Therefore repent and trust by faith
In God’s sufficient work:
His blood, His suff’ring wrath, His death,
and risen, says God’s Word.