Week 1 Nicodemus
Good Isn’t Good Enough
3 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
Nicodemus a Pharisee knows that Jesus came from God but doesn’t know He is God.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Nicodemus the teacher now becomes the student.
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
The teacher gets a lesson from the Teacher
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[e] 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[f] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[g]
Nicodemus hears the Gospel message
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Good is Not Good Enough!
Nicodemus, a Pharisee, Sanhedrin, teacher of the law, Master of the Law, perfect in his own eyes and the eyes of the people around him but Jesus tells him it’s not good enough!
Small Group Question:
- When you think of a Pharisee as described in the Bible, what are some things that come to mind? Do you think these descriptions are warranted/is it proper to lump them all together in one description?
- What do you think was the catalyst for the Pharisee’s doctrine of perfection under the law? Do you think this came from God or they imposed it upon themselves? Why is it impossible to keep the law? What was the purpose of the law?
- Read John 3:1-4, why do you think Nicodemus would come to Jesus at night? Why wouldn’t Nicodemus understand what it means to be born again? Do you think Nicodemus response is sarcastic or genuine?
- Read John 3:5-9, what do you think would be going through Nicodemus mind when Jesus tells him he has to be born of water and sprit? Why do you think Jesus compares the wind to the Spirit here?
- Read John 3:10-18, do you think Nicodemus would have felt condemned at this point? How do you think he would have felt about a lifetime of being perfectly religious but starting to realize that it wasn’t enough to get him into Heaven?
- John 3:16 is one of the most quoted verses in the Bible, seen at sports games, concerts, etc. Why do you think that is so? How do you think the Jewish people, the people of God, would take this verse? In what seems to be a rapidly declining world, do you think more people will be open to this verse or less? Why or why not?
- Why do you think God didn’t send Jesus to condemn a world that deserves to be condemned? Why do you think the Jewish people missed the “signs” of the coming Messiah?
- God loves the WORLD, pray for those who don’t yet know Jesus and pray for those who may have fallen away to come back to Him.