John Chapter 3a

March 22, 2010

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of John. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking hereor you can watch it below:

John Chapter 3a from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

John 3:1-17 (NIV)
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 4 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:1

Enter Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a religious leader as well as a political leader.

These “leaders’ sat in Moses seat over the people of Israel.
At this time in Israel’s history they were operating under the rule of the Romans. The Romans collected taxes and garrisoned armies in the countries they occupied, but they allowed those countries to continue to self-govern over most areas.

Nicodemus was a very powerful person. His standing as a political leader meant that he would be backed by Rome, and he was also a recognized interpreter of the Law.

John 3:2

While Nicodemus recognized that Jesus had come from God, he comes at night so as not to be seen as making any sort of public recognition of Jesus.

John 3:3

Jesus jump start the conversation by telling Nicodemus that no one could even see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again.

John 3:4

Nicodemus can’t grasp the strange concept and asks Jesus for clarification by basically saying “What in the world are you talking about”?

John 3:5-15

Jesus response to Nicodemus demonstrates that the revelation of grace and truth that Jesus brings is not foreign to the Old Testament, and that as “Israel’s Teacher”. Nicodemus should not be surprised by them. Consider some of these Old Testament verses:

Jeremiah 31:31-33 (NIV)
31 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Ezekiel 11:19 (NIV)
19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV)
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

These passages talk about a new birth and so the idea had been around a long time. But Nicodemus did not seem to know about this idea, all he knew about was the Law.

His concept of God was faulty because he missed the grace of God, which tells us about the amazing love of God for us in spite of our failures and sin.

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