There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee.2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
9 “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
10 Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12 But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Reflect on the Passages
Take a moment to read through the passages slowly. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through them.
Is there a word or phrase that God is drawing to your attention? What is He saying to you through these passages?
Engage with the Message
1) What stood out to you from the Scripture passages and/or this week's message?
2) In what ways is God challenging you and/or encouraging you through the message?
3) In what ways does our faith in Christ make a difference when the world feels dark?
4) Why do you think Nicodemus went to Jesus on "a dark night"? What significance does this have when you think about Nicodemus's status as a Jewish religious leader?
5) What does it mean to be "born from above"? How do you think that Nicodemus would have felt upon hearing this? What might he have been thinking?
6) Take a moment to read John 3:16-17 with fresh eyes. What stands out to you from these verses? In what ways does this understanding of God differ from the ways He is often understood and depicted in our world?
7) What does the passage mean when it says "And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light"? In what ways do you see people loving the darkness more than the light in our world?
8) How do we learn to love the light rather than the darkness? What does it look like to be someone who loves the light?