12 March 2014

Bible Study: Nicodemus (John 3:1-21)


Getting started

How do most people in our society regard Jesus today?
How would they describe him?

Exploring God’s word

1    Try having two members of the group read the passage as a dialog between Jesus and Nicodemus. What was Nicodemus’ position in the community? Do you think there was a reason why he came to Jesus at night? How does Nicodemus address Jesus? What might his use of the pronoun “we” suggest?

2    How does Jesus respond to Nicodemus? What do you think Jesus was getting at in answering the way he did? Why does Nicodemus fail to get the point?

3    How does Jesus clarify what it means to be born again? What do you think it means to be “born of water and the Spirit”? How does Jesus’ metaphor of the wind help to make sense of this?

4    Why do you suppose Nicodemus is still mystified in verse 9? What accusation does Jesus level against Nicodemus (and his fellow Pharisees) in verses 11 and 12? What does he claim for himself in verse 13?

5    For the background to verses 14 and 15, see Numbers 21:4-9. How does Jesus use this story from the Old Testament to reveal something about himself? What would you identify as the central theme of the verses that follow? Why do people react to light and darkness as they do?

For further thought and action

If you had been in Nicodemus’ shoes, what would have been going through your mind and heart at the end of this conversation? How can we communicate effectively with people who have genuine problems with Christian faith?

No comments: