Jesus and Nicodemus
Read John 3:1-21
The New Birth
Read John 3:1-13 again.
Nicodemus was a teacher and a religious leader. He was well educated and lived a good life. He thought that the good things he did would please God and give him a place in heaven. Jesus told him, “No one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
Jesus explained that there are two kinds of life: natural life of the body and spiritual life. We are born with natural life, but we receive spiritual life from the Spirit of God. We have already learned in John 1:12 that we receive this new nature, we are born again, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. God becomes our Father. We are born of God and become the children of God.
When anyone is joined to Christ he is a new being: the old is gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Jesus said this new birth is “of water and the Spirit.” The Bible often uses figurative or picture language – words with a different meaning from what they usually have. “Water” here means the washing away of sin. This is a part of our salvation.
He saved us through the Holy Spirit, who gives us new birth and new life by washing us (Titus 3:5).
You have been made clean already by the teaching I have given you... (John 15:3).
Spiritual cleansing comes from listening to and obeying the Word of God. When Jesus spoke of being born again of water, we believe He meant we are born again by hearing the Word of God and believing it.
Life for a Look
Read John 3:14-21 again.
Once, the people of God had sinned and were punished by being snakebitten. God loved them and told Moses to lift up a bronze snake where everyone could see it. Whoever looked at it got well. Those who would not look died.
Everyone on earth has disobeyed God and has been condemned to die. But God loves us. He proved it by sending His Son to die for us. Jesus was lifted up on a cross like the snake made of bronze. Everyone who looks to Him – that is, believes in Him – is healed from the snakebite of sin. Those who will not believe in Him have to die in their sins. But those who look receive eternal life.
Jesus and John
Read John 3:22-30.
The crowds that used to go to hear John the Baptist were now going to hear instead. Many of John’s disciples had left him and were following Jesus. But John wasn’t sad about this. God had sent him to tell people about Jesus. So he was happy when they left him to follow Jesus.
John’s attitude and his words show what a noble, unselfish person he was. His words are a good motto for us. Jesus, and not John, was the one who really mattered in John’s life.
He must become more important, while I become less important. (John 3:30).
He Who Comes From Heaven
Read John 3:31-36.
In these verses John, the writer of the Good News, lets us know that Jesus is the one who comes from heaven. He is greater than anybody on earth or everybody on earth all put together. He is full of the Spirit of God. God loves Him and has given Him power over everything.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not have life, but will remain under God’s punishment. (John 3:36).
Many verses in this chapter speak of eternal life. Eternal life is not living on and on in this world. It is God’s never-ending life, the kind of life that Jesus had. Although Jesus died on the cross, His life did not end. He arose from the grave and He lives forever.
If we believe in Jesus, we have eternal life. Our bodies may die, but when they do, our spirits will go to God and will live with Him forever. And just as Jesus’ body was raised from the dead, the bodies of those who believe in Him will one day be raised from the dead to enjoy eternal life.
Take the quiz
Answer these question covering what you just read.
1. What did Jesus tell Nicodemus
a) The good things he did would take him to heaven.
b) No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.
2. The new birth is
a) being born of God by believing in Jesus and receiving Him as Savior.
b) coming back to earth as another person after you die.
c) being baptized in water.
3. What is the greatest proof that God loves us?
a) He gave His Son to save us.
b) He gives us life
c) He answers prayer
4. What if we do not accept the salvation that God offers us in Jesus?
a) We may be saved by being baptized in water.
b) We may be saved after we die
c) We will not be saved
5. What if we do accept the salvation that God has provided through Jesus?
a) Our bodies will never die.
b) Our bodies may die, but we will go to live with God forever.
c) Our bodies will never be raised from the dead