Course D: The Gospel of John
Lesson 4 – Conversation with Nicodemus / Testimony About Jesus
John 3 约翰福音 三章
Getting Started: In chapter 2 the focus was on “signs.” Jesus performed his first “sign,” and his disciples put their trust in him. Jesus went to Jerusalem for Passover and cleared the temple of dishonest sellers from the temple, and the Jews asked for a “sign” that he had the right to do that. John tells us that Jesus performed many other “signs” as well, with the result that many people believed in his name. While in Jerusalem, Jesus has a conversation with Nicodemus, and the subject of “signs” comes up again. In this conversation Jesus shows us the way to eternal life.
3:1-8 The Conversation with Nicodemus – Part A
- Why would Nicodemus come to Jesus at night?
- What do his words tell us about Jesus’ activity up to this point?
- In what way is verse 5 a clarification of verse 3? (Note: The Greek word for “again,” anothen, can also mean “from above.”)
- In this section Jesus is contrasting natural birth and spiritual birth. Which verses or partial verses speak of each?
- Where in John’s gospel does God himself make a connection between water and Spirit? How does this connection help us in our interpretation of verse 5?
- What is the point of the wind illustration in verse 8?
3:9-21 The Conversation with Nicodemus – Part B
- What is Jesus surprised about in verses 10 and 11?
- What point is Jesus making in verses 12 and 13?
- Explain the picture and its meaning in verses 14 and 15.
- Go back and look at your notes on 1:14. What did we say “one and only” meant?
- What do we understand by the word believes?
- Explain what Jesus says about condemnation in verses 17 – 18.
- What does Jesus mean is his words about “light” in verses 19 – 21? (Use John 1:1-9 to help explain what he means.)
3:22-36 The Testimony About Jesus
- One commentator has said that verses 22-24 show that Jesus and John the Baptist were conducting “parallel ministries” at this time in Judea. What do you think that commentator means?
- Verse 25 gives the reason why the argument among John’s disciples began. What does verse 26 say is the real reason John’s disciples were upset?
- State in different words what John says in verse 27.
- Explain what John means by using the wedding picture in verses 28-29.
- What did John mean in saying, He must become greater; I must become less?
- Many commentators think that John the Baptist’s words end at the end of verse 30, and that verses 31-36 are the comments of the author, John the Apostle. Compare verses 31-36 to John 1:1-18. Can you find things in the two sections that sound similar?
- Who is the man who has accepted it in verse 33? How does verse 34 explain what was involved in the “certifying” of verse 33?
- What motivation for ministry do you find in verse 34?
- Verse 35 emphasizes a very important truth. How is that same truth shown in John 1:1-18? in Hebrews 1?
- Why can we say that verse 36 is a good summary statement for John 3? Why could we also say it is a good summary statement for the entire Gospel of John?