3:2 came to Jesus 1 at night 2 and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs 3 that you do unless God is with him.”
3:26 So they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you on the other side of the Jordan River, 4 about whom you testified – see, he is baptizing, and everyone is flocking to him!”
1 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
2 tn Or “during the night.”
sn Possibly Nicodemus came…at night because he was afraid of public association with Jesus, or he wanted a lengthy discussion without interruptions; no explanation for the timing of the interview is given by the author. But the timing is significant for John in terms of the light-darkness motif – compare John 9:4, 11:10, 13:30 (especially), 19:39, and 21:3. Out of the darkness of his life and religiosity Nicodemus came to the Light of the world. The author probably had multiple meanings or associations in mind here, as is often the case.
3 sn The reference to signs (σημεῖα, shmeia) forms a link with John 2:23-25. Those people in Jerusalem believed in Jesus because of the signs he had performed. Nicodemus had apparently seen them too. But for Nicodemus all the signs meant is that Jesus was a great teacher sent from God. His approach to Jesus was well-intentioned but theologically inadequate; he had failed to grasp the messianic implications of the miraculous signs.
4 tn “River” is not in the Greek text but is supplied for clarity.