Text: John 3:14-21
* All through Scriptures we are impressed with the lengths that God has gone to in-order-to benefit and save mankind. It is truly hard to imagine what more He could do.
* Paul said, “You see just at the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
* John concludes the little “sit down” with Nicodemus with this OT comparison…
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in Him.”
1. Read Numbers 21:4-9. Summarize the story. ______________________________________________________________________
2. God could have just healed the people who were bitten. What is the point of making a snake and putting it on a pole? ______________________________________________________________________
3. Does this make “healing” too easily obtained?
4. In John 1:12; 3:14, 16, 18a, and negatively in verse 18b “belief” is what is required live spiritually! What is the problem that the author is dealing with in his readers? ______________________________________________________________________
5. What do you say to someone who says, “If God SO LOVES us, then where was God when my son/ daughter/best friend died?” “… when I was being abused?” “Why bad things happen/good people!?” ______________________________________________________________________
6. Did God send His Son to this world to CONDEMN? If not then WHY? ______________________________________________________________________
7. If a person does not BELIEVE IN JESUS, what is his/her situation? What then is the starting place for those seeking life? ______________________________________________________________________
8. Why do many refuse to believe in Jesus? Vs. 19 ______________________________________________________________________
9. Why do people hate the “light?” Vs. 20 ______________________________________________________________________
Text: John 3:1-13
When thinking of “things new” a “new birth” just doesn’t come to mind, normally. Nor is it usually on our “want list.” (Well maybe it is.) Nicodemus must have been shocked when Jesus told him, “You must be born again,” and even though there seems to be some things left out of the conversation, Jesus does not leave out anything important.
– Wealthy (John 19:39)
– Pharisee (“Chaburah” = “Brotherhood”) “They entered this “brotherhood” by taking a
pledge in front of three witnesses that they would spend all their lives observing every detail of the scribal law… There were 6,000 in the “brotherhood.” These were considered “the best in the country.” They were strictly “orthodox” and considered first 5 books as complete will of God. Their goal = PERFECTION by law keeping.
– Ruler (Sanhedrin) = 70 Supreme Court of the Jews. Religious jurisdiction over every Jew in the world. Their duty: Examine every ‘so-called’ prophet – TRUE OR FALSE!
– Our Context shows John 3:3-15 (at least) = spoken to NICODEMUS.
– Came by night – “Why?” – Speculations – Who cares! Why important or not?
– What really matters: He came to the right person, and his life was changed forever.
1. “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God…”
What reason did he give for this? ___________________________________________
2. Jesus tells Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” What does this mean?
– Digging deeper: (Gk. “Anothen”) Three meanings not possible to be put in one word:
– “From the beginning” – Completely, radically.
– “Again” – In the sense of a second time.
– “From above” – ie. From God
3. What does the Bible say about the “new birth”? Please list the outstanding point or principle found in:
– I Peter 1:3 ___________________________________________________________
– I Peter 1:22-23 _______________________________________________________
– James 1:18 __________________________________________________________
– Titus 3:5 ____________________________________________________________
– Romans 6:1-11 _______________________________________________________
– I Cor. 3:1-2 __________________________________________________________
– II Cor. 5:17 __________________________________________________________
– Gal. 6:15 ____________________________________________________________
– Eph. 4:22-24 _________________________________________________________
– Heb. 5:12-14 _________________________________________________________
4. What important conclusions do you come to after studying these verses regarding “new birth”? What difference should a “new birth” mean?
5. The new birth indicates that there be a radical change which is based on a new relationship VERTICALLY (ie. With God). How does the new birth relate to:
– The kingdom of God? (Col. 1:13) __________________________________________
– The family of God? (I Tim. 3:15; Matt. 18:3) __________________________________
– The body of Christ? (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27; I Cor. 12:12-13) ____________________
6. “Pneuma” in Greek means “spirit” or “wind.” What do we not know about the Spirit (as
compared to “the wind?” Can you give some examples of this “Spirit activity” in the book of Acts? _______________________________________________________________
– What conclusions can we draw from the surprising activity of the Spirit? ___________
7. What are the elements of the new birth? Jno. 3:5; Col. 2:11-13; Acts 2:36-39
– Purpose of the ____________ is __________________________________
– Purpose of the ____________ is __________________________________
8. What is the danger of over-emphasizing one element (water and Spirit) above the other or to the exclusion of one or the other? (What do you think about this statement: “A waterless Spirit birth is no more effective than a Spiritless water birth.” ______________________________________________________________________
9. How does this effect what you have previously thought about the “new birth?”________________________________________________________________
10. Why is this important to you and your life on a daily basis? ______________________________________________________________________
(For more study on this topic please refer to Series “Holy Spirit” and “Amazing Grace” in this website. Hope this helps.)
Grow in grace!!!
Sunday Class – Book of John – Lesson 5 – “Cleaning out God’s house”
Texts: John 2:13-25 (cf. Mtt.21:12-13; Mk. 11:15-17; Lk. 19:45-46)
Some things to remember:
– John is not focused on chronology as much as his overall purpose and goal. (John 20:31)
– Jerusalem: The center of Jewish culture, government and of course religion because the temple was there. In fact, all three of these things were closely tied together.
– Passover – Commemorates Israel’s deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 11-12).
– Every adult male within 20 miles = required to attend and participate.
– Barclay records: Sometimes 2.25 million assembled for the Passover feast coming from all areas of Roman Empire
– A Temple tax was required for entrance (one half-shekel/ two days wages)
– “Money changers” – Exchanging of currencies because foreign currency was considered unclean. Extra chargers resulted in profit for changers and hardship on people.
– Animal sacrifices – Inspectors appointed/ Fee for inspection/ Animals bought outside = half the charge of purchase in temple area/ Animals bought o/side were certain to be rejected/ Resulting in “extortion” of the poor/ All in the name of pure religion!
– “God dwells in temples not made with hands.” Yet over the Centuries more and more attention and money has been given to the PLACE where one “connects” with God, with more and more regulations as to what can and cannot be done inside and outside these buildings. What you think? ________________________________________________
The anger of Jesus – Discussion Questions:
1. Was Jesus over-reacting in verse 15? What about “Be angry but do not sin.” (Eph. 4:26-27) What is “righteous anger?” _________________________________________
2. What are some examples where it is “right” to be angry? ______________________
What makes “anger” sinful (and dangerous)?__________________________________
3. Jesus drove all out of temple area, but to those who sold doves Jesus says, “Get these out of here! Stop making my Father’s house into a market!” Why?
4. Is this the same as having a “Yard Sale” on the church parking lot? BBQ/Games/Kitchen/Dinners/Girl Scouts/N/A/ CR/ Weddings/Funerals and other activities on church property? Why? Why not? ________________________________
5. What is God’s house? Where is the “sanctuary?” What would desecrate “God’s house” today? __________________________________________________________
6. There were two responses mentioned regarding Jesus’ actions: “DISCIPLES REMEMBERED and the Jews REQUIRED A SIGN of authority. (Vs. 17-18)
– How does Mark 14:58 help clarify John’s record? _____________________________
– What do you think the disciples thought when Jesus got angry and cleansed the
temple area? ___________________________________________________________
– How does this incident help disciples after Jesus was raised from the dead? (Vs. 17-22) __________________________________________________________________
7. Does Jesus offer more (in signs) than what He offered in vs. 19? (Cf. vs. 23)
8. Vs 24-25 What did/does Jesus know about “people” in general?
9. What life and or spiritual principles can we gain from this episode in the life of Jesus recorded in John’s gospel?
Grow in grace!!!
We now come to the beginning of the miracles of Jesus in John’s book. Whether it be changing water into wine (2) or healing the man at the pool (5) or raising Lazarus from the dead (11), miracles are troubling for many, while amazing and faith building to others.
1. What is a “miracle anyway?” What was/is their purpose? Do miracles occur today? ______________________________________________________________________
* “The Greek word for miracle that John uses is “simaios” which means “sign.” Miracles are thus “signs,” and like all signs, they are never about themselves, they are about whatever they are pointing toward. Miracles point to something beyond themselves. But to what? To God Himself. That’s the point of miracles – to point us beyond our world to another world.” (“Miracles” by Eric Metaxis,)
2. John records miracles that point beyond the “miracle” to Jesus. “… these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God… and have life…” (20:30-31) So what is the “END GAME” of miracles? ___________________________
3. What about Old Testament miracles? (Plagues, parting the Red Sea.) To whom do these miracles point and what was their purpose? ______________________________________________________________________
4.Do miracles contradict Science? (Or is science just not as advanced as God’s power?) _______________________________________________________________
5. Do miracles still happen? Give an example! What did/do they point to? Who should always get the glory? ____________________________________________________
6. If miracles do NOT happen now, then what effect does this have on prayer? Are we wrong or naïve in praying for God’s “interruption” in our lives?” Are “answers to prayer” just a matter of “good luck?” Is “Providence” miraculous intervention? ______________________________________________________________________
7. What was the purpose of miracles in the early church where some had the gifts of healing as well as other gifts FROM the Spirit. (I Cor. 12:9-10). ______________________________________________________________________
8. (John 2) Why would this miracle where Jesus turns water into wine be important to the readers/ recipients of this book since John wrote with a particular purpose in mind? ______________________________________________________________________
9. What do we learn from this wine-making miracle? ______________________________________________________________________
10. What are some things you learn from John chapter 2 which might build your faith?
Grow in grace!!