Meditate – John 3:1-21
We’re practicing this idea of “meditating” on scripture this week. Three ways we talked about doing that are:
- Channel your inner toddler – “Why? Why? Why?”
- Visualize/Cast yourself in the scene
- Preach the paragraph – “What’s the point?”
Bigger chunk today:
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”
10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
“13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
“18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
1 – Channel your inner toddler
- Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus at night?
- Why did Nicodemus say he knew that Jesus was from God?
- Why did Jesus tell him about being born again in verse 4? That doesn’t seem to have anything to do with what Nicodemus just said.
- Why does Nicodemus ask how to be born again? Why does he ask about old men? Isn’t it just as impossible for young men to be born a second time?
- Does Jesus even answer him? Why does He talk about being born, “of water and Spirit”?
- Why can’t we enter the kingdom of God unless we’re reborn?
- Why does Jesus talk about the wind? What does that have to do with being born again?
- Why does Jesus say, “We” and “Our” in verse 11?
- Why must the Son of Man be lifted up (verse 14)?
- Why did God give His only Son?
- Why did God send Jesus into the world?
- Why are people who do not believe condemned?
- Why do people like darkness more than light? Was that only true 2000 years ago, or is it true today?
2 – Visualize
You are Nicodemus. You’re an old guy. You’ve been living for God your whole life. You have most of the Old Testament memorized, and you understand it very well. You have been teaching others about God for decades. You are well respected in the community. You have a heart for God and you want to know the truth.
You’ve heard of this Jesus – a young man, compared to you – who teaches with authority and understanding, performs signs and wonders, and claims to be the Son of God. What do you think of Him? Do you believe the reports you have heard? Why do you finally decide to go and see him? Why at night?
Do you understand what He’s telling you about being born again? Are you annoyed that He doesn’t answer your questions directly, or do you feel challenged to dig deeper? What is it like to sit in His presence and listen to Him teach? What is it like to have a private audience with Him – besides His disciples who are always around – when He’s usually surrounded by crowds? What do you think of His choice of disciples? They were all young men whom other teachers – like you – rejected as disciples. Do you think Jesus is merciful, or foolish, for accepting them?
Do you feel hopeful, or confused at the end of your conversation?
3 – Preach it
What’s the point? There are some good one-liners that we pull out of this passage of scripture, but is there more to be learned from the conversation than just John 3:16? How does this impact your understanding of a relationship with Jesus? What does it mean for you today? Click here to leave a comment and let us know what you think the point of the conversation is.
Check back tomorrow for help with the last assignment