Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 11: John 3:1-21

John 3:1-21
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Background Information
If you are reading the Scripture text from this page, you will find at least three words whose meanings might not be as clear today as they were when the Bible was first translated into English. In verse 8 Jesus speaks of the wind blowing "where it listeth," or lists. Speaking poetically, we would say today,
wherever it wishes.   In verse 10, Jesus asks Nicodemus if he was a “master of Israel”. Master here means teacher, as in schoolmaster. Then, in the very last verse, you’ll find the word “wrought”. It means worked.

Nicodemus addresses Jesus as “Rabbi.” A
rabbi was and is a Jewish religious teacher.

The term “kingdom of God” is far reaching. In this context, it includes life after death.

Related Scriptures
Numbers 21:5-9
John 6:63
Romans 8:1-17
1 Peter 1:23-24

  1. Jesus told Nicodemus people must be “born again.” a. Was this new birth to involve a new body? b. If not a physical birth, what kind of birth is this new birth to be?
  2. What did Jesus say a person could not do unless he was born again?
  3. People struggle over Jesus’ words “born of water and of the Spirit”. As you consider these words, keep in mind that Jesus is contrasting heavenly or spiritual things with earthly or physical things. a. Is water a spiritual thing, or something physical? b. Is the new birth physical or spiritual? c. Could water, which is physical give a person spiritual life? d. Is it possible that “water” relates to physical birth in these verses?
  4. That which is born of the flesh must die. As we read on through the passage, Jesus tells us how to live forever. a. Do you think spiritual birth would be needed to live forever? b. What does Jesus say must be done if one wishes to live forever?
  5. a. Why did God send the deadly snakes? b. What was the purpose of the sculptured snake Moses put up? c. Would being healed also mean being forgiven for the sin that caused the problem?
  6. Jesus would be “lifted up” on a cross later in His life. He relates that lifting up to what happened with Moses in the wilderness. a. Does this suggest that sin is the reason we must die? b. What effect does looking at (or believing) in Jesus have on our dying spirits?
  7. a. According to the verses in Romans 8, is being born again simply an intellectual belief or a spiritual change? b. Who changes our spirits, us or the Spirit of God?
  8.  Have you believed in Jesus to give you everlasting life?

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