Read John 3:1-17
Nicodemus came by night to visit Jesus. He wanted to know what Jesus had to say, but he didn’t want to be seen talking with him or listening to him. Nicodemus was in the dark,
and even after listening to Jesus he still didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about. Nicodemus was hiding in the shadows, unable to comprehend the light that was right in
front of him.
How does Nicodemus’ decision to visit Jesus at night symbolize our human bondage to sin?
In what ways does Nicodemus’ coming at night reflect our desire to have control over how God’s Word comes to us? How is this desire a stumbling block to faith?
In verse 3 Jesus tells Nicodemus he must be born anothen (pronounced ah-know-thin). This phrase is rightly understood as both “born from above,” and “born again, born anew.” Most English translations choose one of these meanings, footnoting the other. Overemphasizing one understanding at the expense of the other leads to missing
the fact that the word has this double meaning. There is both a time (again) and a place (from above) for the birth of which Jesus is speaking.
What associations do you have with being “born again”? What associations do you have with being “born from above”?
John 3:16 is one of the most beloved verses in Scripture, but verse 17 is equally stunning in its beauty and simplicity. God didn’t come into the world to condemn, but to save. The work Jesus came into the world to do is for the sake of humankind. It is to save this world that is lost in sin.
How might these final verses lead us into universalism? Is that a problem?
How does God impact our lives with the reality of salvation?
To acknowledge the mission Christ has sent you on today; that you might share the love of God in Christ and serve your neighbour, can only truly happen as the Word and Spirit break through your darkness and resistance. Pray that the Holy Spirit may renew you in faith to follow where Christ will lead today.
Go in peace and served the Lord.