John 3:2

The same (outo). "This one." By night (nukto). Genitive of time. That he came at all is remarkable, not because there was any danger as was true at a later period, but because of his own prominence. He wished to avoid comment by other members of the Sanhedrin and others. Jesus had already provoked the opposition of the ecclesiastics by his assumption of Messianic authority over the temple. There is no ground for assigning this incident to a later period, for it suits perfectly here. Jesus was already in the public eye ( Luke 2:23 ) and the interest of Nicodemus was real and yet he wished to be cautious. Rabbi (Rabbei). See on Luke 1:38 . Technically Jesus was not an acknowledged Rabbi of the schools, but Nicodemus does recognize him as such and calls him "My Master" just as Andrew and John did ( Luke 1:38 ). It was a long step for Nicodemus as a Pharisee to take, for the Pharisees had closely scrutinized the credentials of the Baptist in Luke 1:19-24 (Milligan and Moulton's Comm.). We know (oidamen). Second perfect indicative first person plural. He seems to speak for others of his class as the blind man does in Luke 9:31 . Westcott thinks that Nicodemus has been influenced partly by the report of the commission sent to the Baptist ( Luke 1:19-27 ). Thou art a teacher come from God (apo qeou elhluqa didaskalo). "Thou hast come from God as a teacher." Second perfect active indicative of ercomai and predicative nominative didaskalo. This is the explanation of Nicodemus for coming to Jesus, obscure Galilean peasant as he seemed, evidence that satisfied one of the leaders in Pharisaism. Can do (dunatai poiein). "Can go on doing" (present active infinitive of poiew and so linear). These signs that thou doest (tauta ta shmeia a su poiei). Those mentioned in Luke 2:23 that convinced so many in the crowd and that now appeal to the scholar. Note su (thou) as quite out of the ordinary. The scorn of Jesus by the rulers held many back to the end ( John 12:42 ), but Nicodemus dares to feel his way. Except God be with him (ean mh h o qeo met autou). Condition of the third class, presented as a probability, not as a definite fact. He wanted to know more of the teaching accredited thus by God. Jesus went about doing good because God was with him, Peter says ( Acts 10:38 ).