1. Based on John 3:1-2, what sort of a person was Nicodemus? What sort of upbringing do you suppose he had?
Pharisees were the religious leaders of Jesus' day. They concentrated on external goodness and believed salvation was something they earned. ( Matthew 23:1-35 contains Jesus' response to that way of thinking)
2. Why do you think Nicodemus came to Jesus?
3. According to John 3:3, how did Jesus respond to Nicodemus' opening words? Does His response strike you as strange?
4. What do you think Jesus means when He says (in verse 3), "No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again?"
5. Some people say that reading a dictionary or telephone book is more interesting than the Bible or stories about Jesus. Is that natural? Based on the passages below, explain why that might be?
At the Pacific Science Center in Seattle there is a display that tests for color-blindness. It consists of 30 individual squares of multi-colored shapes and patterns with a number at the center. People with normal vision can easily see each number. However, a color-blind person cannot see some of the numbers no matter how hard they try-even if they know what to look for and where to look. It is a physical impossibility for them. In spiritual terms, we are all "color blind." It is impossible for us to see and understand God and His ways on our own. In this world it is not natural to enjoy spending time with Jesus.
Read John 3:3-15 through a couple of times (maybe even out loud) before answering the following questions.
6. According to Jesus, what has to happen before we can "see the kingdom of God?"
7. What was Nicodemus' response?
8. According to Jesus, Who is responsible for our "New Birth" or conversion and how can you know if He is working?
It is clear that just as you did not have much control over your first birth, you do not have much control over being "born again." It is the supernatural result of God's Holy Spirit working in your mind or heart (for more on this read John 1:12-13; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3). You might wonder, "Is there anything I can do?"
In John 3:14-15 Jesus referred back to a story in Israel's history. That story is found in Numbers 21:4-9.
9. Why did the snakes come into the camp?
10. What was the solution to getting bit by a snake?
11. How does this apply to us today?
The condition for healing from a snake bite was to look at the snake on the pole--just look. It asked them to do something they could do--look. The story is for us as well. We cannot change our lives. We cannot force ourselves to be interested in Jesus. We cannot control our feelings. We cannot generate faith and belief. We can come to Jesus and "look" at Him. John the Baptist said, "Behold the Lamb" (John 1:29). Jesus said, "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself" (John 12:32). When we "look" at Jesus, it puts us in a place where the Holy Spirit can do the supernatural work of "New Birth." And how do we look at Jesus? By spending time each day asking Him to make himself real to us and reading His word--like you have been doing in the "Daily Bites." Keep looking!
WE PROMISE: We will NOT visit, phone, mail, or otherwise harass you. YOU will initiate
Lesson 2 - Questions