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John 3:9-15

Talks for Growing Christians

A Conversation Between Jesus and Nicodemus

John 3:9-15

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Lesson Number 13

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Son of Man descended from heaven.
  2. The Son of Man was lifted up from earth.

Practical Application

  1. Have you looked at Jesus lifted up?

Questions

  1. How do you know that Nicodemus was a sincere seeker?
  2. Shouldn’t Nicodemus have known about the spiritual birth?
  3. Was Jesus speaking only to Nicodemus about spiritual things?
  4. What was the Lord’s favorite designation of Himself?
  5. How is John 3:14-15 related to Numbers 21:5-9?

Answers

  1. Nicodemus didn’t understand what Jesus meant when He said, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” so he asked the Lord how this could be – what the spiritual birth was, and how it took place.
  2. He should have known, for he was not only a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, but he was a Rabbi, a teacher in Israel. The Old Testament Scriptures, which Nicodemus knew, certainly indicated that when the Messiah came, the Spirit of God would do a work in the hearts of the people. See Ezekiel 36:26.
  3. No. He was speaking to the rulers of the nation as well. The “you” in John 3:11-12 is plural in the Greek language.
  4. The Son of Man
  5. As Moses lifted up the bronze serpent for healing, so must the Lord Jesus be lifted up in order to save a dying person. It was an illustration of the sacrificial death of Christ. When Jesus was lifted up, He was not only the Lamb of God, but He was our sin-bearer. When Jesus died on the cross, He was taking on Himself the curse of sin. See 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Discuss/Consider

  1. How often do you look at Jesus lifted up as your sin-bearer? Memorize 2 Corinthians 5:21.
  2. How well do you understand spiritual things? Think back to a time before you became a Christian. Remember, it’s only by the Holy Spirit that one can understand things of the Spirit. Human reasoning just doesn’t cut it.

Challenge

  1. Are you a sincere seeker? Nicodemus took his questions directly to the Lord. Do you take your questions to Him? Do you seek answers from Scripture?

Key Verses

  • “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” John 3:12
  • “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15
  • “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

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