Coming To The One Who Comes to Us – Part 3

John 2:23-3:21

Coming To The One Who Comes to Us – Part 3

When Religious People Come

I. John sets the STAGE for the CONVERSATION. (2:23-3:1)
A. The BUZZ about JESUS. (2:23-24)
B. NICODEMUS has impressive CREDENTIALS. (3:1)

It’s always important to read the context around any Biblical story. That’s why you need to realize that the interaction with Nicodemus comes right after the summary given at the end of John chapter 2. Many people saw the signs Jesus did…and Nicodemus was one of those people.

1. Kid’s Question: What famous person would you like to meet and why?

II. The TRUTH according to JESUS. (3:1-15)
A. Jesus TURNS the TABLES immediately. (3:3-8, 10,13)
B. It’s about the KINGDOM of GOD. (3:3,5)
C. It REQUIRES a complete TRANSFORMATION. (3:3,5; Ez. 36:25-27)
D. You can SEE it, but not MANAGE it. (3:8)
E. The PRICE for this new BIRTH. (v.14-15; Num. 21:4-9)

Twice Jesus says, “I tell you the truth…”. That means that we should pay attention. Jesus is teaching the “teacher of Israel” about things beyond the current understanding of God and how He works. The truth according to Jesus is new territory for Nicodemus.

2. When has Jesus “turned the tables on you” and left you in a state of surprise or shock at where you find yourself?
3. How would you describe the “Kingdom of God” to someone who doesn’t know what it is?
4. Jeff talked about seeing the Kingdom as a new way of seeing what is happening all around you. Have you experienced that in your own life? If not, what might that be like? If so, what was that like?

III. John CONTINUES the COMMENTARY . (3:16-21)
A. God’s MOTIVE and PURPOSE. (3:16-17)
B. The QUESTION is how we RESPOND. (3:18-21)

John ends the story and begins to communicate the message to his audience, which includes the most famous Bible verse of all time. It ties together the interaction between Nicodemus and Jesus with our own interaction with the truth that Jesus is communicating.

5. Read John 3:16-17 out loud, slowly, a few times. What stands out to you most from those verses and how does it impact your own life at this point?

IV. SEEING and ENTERING the Kingdom. (3:3,5)
A. SURRENDER instead of CONTROL. (3:1-15; Mk. 8:34)
B. EXPOSURE (light) instead of HIDING (darkness). (3:19-21; Jn 12:46; 1 Pet.2:9)
C. Fully “ENTRUSTING” ourselves to JESUS. (2:24; 3:18; Jn. 6:29)

Nicodemus is seeking to figure out where Jesus fits in his understanding of God, and yet Jesus turns that understanding upside down. He takes the “teacher” who should have understood the Kingdom and tells him that as he is he cannot see it or enter it. What do we need to do to see and enter the Kingdom today?

6. What are some of the ways we resist surrender to the call to follow Jesus in Mt. 8:34? Why do we seek control instead of surrender?
7. What keeps us hiding in darkness when the light offers us healing and hope?
8. What is one area where Jesus is calling you to believe (entrust yourself to) Him? How will you respond this week?