Read John 2:23 – 3:9
1) Compare Chapter 2 verses 13 and 23 and Chapter 3 verse 22. When and where do these events take place?
2) Why did the people in 2:23 believe in Jesus? What did they believe? (see John 3:2)
3) The same Greek word is translated believed in 2:23 and commit in 2:24. What does it mean to believe in something? How is this different from being committed to that thing?
4) In Chapter 1, we saw that Jesus’ understanding of Nathaniel’s character caused him to proclaim that Jesus was the Son of God. How does Jesus’ response to Nathanael differ from his response to these believers? What does this tell you about Jesus? About the people in question?
5) There are many speculations about why Nicodemus would have come to Jesus at night, including: A) Because of his position, he was afraid to come openly and so came secretly at night, B) He wanted a personal interview with Jesus, and there were just too many people crowding around Jesus during the day, C) He had other responsibilities during the day and came to talk with Jesus during his “off-duty” hours. What explanation(s) have you found satisfactory from your previous studies? Explain.
6) Was Nicodemus among the people who believed in Jesus’ name in 2:23? How did you arrive at your answer?
7) Examine Nicodemus’ statement of belief (3:2) and Jesus’ answer (3:3) in comparison with John1:12-13. If you knew someone who believed that Jesus was a great miracle worker sent from God but was not a follower of Jesus, how would you talk to them about their greatest need?
8 ) Jesus tells Nicodemus that he can neither see (v.3) nor enter (v.5) the kingdom of God unless he is born again. What does it mean to be born again, and how is someone born again? (See Titus 3:3-7)
9) Why does Nicodemus not understand what Jesus is saying to him in 3:3 and 3:5-8? (John 1:5,10-11, 1 Corinthians 2:14)
10) There are several common interpretations of what the phrase “born of water” in 3:5 is referring to. One is that “born of water” refers to water baptism. Examine Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:11-13. What does water baptism signify? What does Peter say that it is (1 Peter 3:21). According to these verses, is Jesus speaking about water baptism in John 3:5? Why or why not?
11) Another common interpretation can be arrived at by looking at what is signified by water in other Old and New Testament scriptures. According to the following scriptures, what is symbolized by water? Is. 44:3-4, Jer 2:12-13, Ez. 36:25-27, John 4:13-14, 7:37-39, Titus 3:5. How is someone born of this water? (James 1:18, 1 Peter 1:23)
12) The most straightforward approach is look for indications within the passage for an interpretation. In this case, John 3:6 would seem to provide another possible interpretation of the difference between being born of water and of the Spirit. What is that interpretation? (See 1 Corinthians 15:45-50)
13) Based on your study of the scriptures in questions 10 through 12, what does John mean by “born of water and of the Spirit?
14) What are some of the differences between the flesh and the spirit that Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 15:42-57?
15) Why would the flesh be unable to see or enter into the kingdom of God?
16) In verse 3:8, the same Greek word is translated wind and Spirit (also translated Spirit in 1:32-33, 3:5,6,8,34). What are some characteristics of the wind that make it an appropriate illustration of the activity of the Holy Spirit?
17) Contrast your experience of church before you were saved with your experience after you were saved (if you can, otherwise just generally will do). Are there things that you see differently now that you’re born again?by beakennedy and comments are closed.