Read John 3:9-21
1) In verse 10, Jesus seems surprised that Nicodemus doesn’t understand the new birth. Assume you only have the Old Testament Scriptures like Nicodemus and Jesus had when their conversation took place. What should Nicodemus have known about “these things” (being born again by the Spirit)? (See Deuteronomy 10:16, 30:6, Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 11:19-20, 36:25-27.)
2) God commands Israel to circumcise their hearts in Deuteronomy 10:16. How does one circumcise their heart? Was it ever sufficient to simply keep the Law of Moses as an external observance? Why or why not? (See the surrounding verses in Deuteronomy 10 and 30.)
3) Compare Deuteronomy 30:6 and Colossians 2:11. What happens when God circumcises the heart?
4) In Deuteronomy 30:1-3, this circumcision of the heart was yet to come. When was God going to perform this operation? When is the New Testament believer’s heart circumcised?
5) The scriptures in Ezekiel that were referred to in Question 1 also refer to a future day. When were these things to take place?
6) Ezekiel gives one more illustration of the new life that would be brought to Israel by the Spirit of God. What is the picture he gives in 37:9-14? How does this picture compare to Jesus’ picture in John 3:8?
7) Hebrews 8:8-12 is a direct quotation of Jeremiah 31:31-34 referring to the New Covenant. Hebrews 9:8-14 goes on to explain the most important difference between the Old and New Covenants. What is that difference as it relates to the subject of the new birth? When was the New Covenant established? (Hebrews 9:15-17)
8 ) In speaking to a Jewish person today, they would say that these Old Testament scriptures will all be fulfilled in the future Messianic age to come. Do you agree? Explain. (See also 1 Peter 1:10-12)
9) In John 3:2, Nicodemus calls Jesus a teacher sent from God. Why does he not receive the witness of Jesus?
10) What are the earthly things Jesus refers to in John 3:12?
11) Compare John 3:13 and Proverbs 30:4 (see also Job 38:4-9). The standard Jewish interpretation of Proverbs 30:4 is that it refers to Moses ascending Mt. Sinai to receive the Law, and his various miracles in leading the people out of Egypt. Does Jesus mean to apply the verse to himself? If so, what should Nicodemus have understood about Jesus?
12) Look up Daniel 7:13-14. What is the significance of Jesus referring to himself as the Son of man?
13) Read Numbers 21:4-9. What spiritual realities does this Old Testament story illustrate? Why does Jesus bring it up at this point in the conversation?
14) Why didn’t God simply remove the serpents as the people asked? (Anne asked this to the Awana girls one night, and I never forgot it.)
15) John 3:16 is very familiar to many people. Is it too familiar?
16) Compare John 3:16-18 with John 12:44-48. What does Jesus want us to understand?
17) Review John 1:4, 9-11 and compare to John 3:19-21. Why do people go to Hell?
18) John doesn’t tell us how the conversation with Nicodemus ended. He is mentioned two other times in John’s gospel (John 7:50-52, 19:38-40). How might the content of Nicodemus’ belief have changed from his first statement in John 3:2? Did he leave believing on Jesus? Explain.by beakennedy and comments are closed.