Saturday, September 28, 2013

Nick at Nite

This is the outline of the lesson I taught on 2013-09-22 on John 3. Sorry for the cute title. I don’t know what came over me …

Preliminary: Signs

  • ASK What are signs for? (to point to something else)
  • ASK Is there such a thing as a sign for the sake of a sign?
  • In chapter 2, in the water-to-wine miracle, John referred to the miracle as “the first his signs.”
  • John tells us in chapter 20 that Jesus did a lot of miracles. John just picked out a few to tell us about.
  • John calls the ones he picked out “signs”.
  • With water into wine, the point seems to me to be that the new is better than the old.

The scripture

  • READ 3:1–4
  • READ 3:5–8
  • READ 3:9–12
  • READ 3:13–15
  • READ 3:17–19
  • READ 3:20–21


  • Nicodemus recognized that the signs Jesus did could only come from God.
  • John has only told us about 1 sign so far, so Jesus is doing more.
  • “Born again” vs. “born from above”: Original language can mean either. Nicodemus takes it one way, but Jesus apparently meant it the other way.
  • ASK What does Nicodemus think he means by “born”?
  • ASK What about born? What is Jesus getting at?
  • ASK What does the wind have to do with it? What’s with “blows where it wishes”? (“wind” and “spirit” are the same in Greek)


  • Obviously, Nicodemus doesn’t get it.
  • ASK Why does Jesus seem to expect Nicodemus to get it?
  • READ Ezekiel 37:1–10 (This seems to cover both “born” and “wind”)

Why did it have to be snakes?

  • ASK What’s with the bit about snakes in v. 14? (Numbers 21)
    • The people grumble.
    • God sends fiery snakes.
    • God commands Moses to make a bronze snake.
    • Everyone who looks to the snake lives.
  • That is the context for 3:15–16
    • Jesus will be lifted up on the cross.
    • Everyone who looks to him is saved.
  • ASK In v. 17, why didn’t God have to condemn the world? (v. 18: it’s condemned already).
  • ASK Why is the world condemned already? (Hasn’t believed.)
  • ASK Why hasn’t it believed? (Loves darkness/evil)

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