THE WAY TO THE FATHER part 2 – Our God is a God Who Saves (Jn 3:1-21) – Steve Sudworth
We are studying the Gospel of John in the hope of answering the question, “Who is God?” From arguably the greatest verse in all of Scripture (Jn 3:16) we learn that our God is a God who saves.
The Gospel of John was the last Gospel to be written, as such, it’s audience is a church in turmoil whose first generation of believers were beginning to die and a new generation of believers were beginning to rise up. He wrote to a new generation, who were not eyewitnesses, to give further detail and explanation of Jesus as the Son of God. Johns approach is rational and with through philosophical evidence to Christ Divinity. His goal was to answer the questions and objections of Jews & Greeks and bring them into a greater understanding of who Jesus is.
The Gospel of John was written somewhere around 80-95 AD during intense persecution. Christians were being kicked out of synagogues and families leaving them with no community, social contact, or means of work. Many Christians were reverting back to the law in-order to regain standing in the Jewish community. John write evangelistically urging the Church to fall more in love with Jesus.
The first two chapters of John give an introduction of who Jesus is and gives further solidification to his Divinity. In the second half of John Ch. 1 John gives personal testimony to the personhood and divinity of Christ by revealing the atonement of his future sacrifice and the filling of the Holy Spirit that is to come. In John Ch. 2 Jesus preforms his first miracle of water into wine at the wedding in Cana, and overturns the tables of money changers and merchants in the temple.
Text: John 3:1-21
Nicodemus believed in miracles but didn’t believe in Jesus as Lord & Savior. Miracles sow seeds of faith in the hearts of unbelievers pointing them to Jesus to provide a platform so that the gospel can be preached. Jesus does not want us to have faith in miracles; he wants us to have faith in him. Nicodemus comes to Jesus knowledgeable but not knowing. Jesus redirects Nicodemus from focusing on the gift rather than the giver and proclaims one of the most well recited verses.
Suggested Discussion Questions
- What do you think Jesus meant when he said, “no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again?” How do you think Nicodemus would have understood it?
- How have you seen John 3:16 misused? How do you think its meaning can be linked to the general intent of the book of John?