I was supposed to teach John 3:1-21 over a week ago in college group, but my car is currently out of commission and I was unable to get to church until well after our Bible study started :(, so my colleague Zephaniah went ahead and taught it. He did a fine job as always, but since I don’t want to feel like my time preparing was a waste, I’ll write a blog post on the passage. I’m also bored :). I’ll focus mostly on 3:16-21 so this post isn’t too long.
John 3:1-21 contains two famous sayings of Jesus: John 3:3, where Jesus says one must be born again (or from above) to see the kingdom of God, and of course, John 3:16, the most famous verse in the entire Bible. Though John (and the Gospels in general) are not as concerned about chronological sequence as modern history writers would be, it’s obvious this is still in the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and, therefore, still at the start of his self-revelation as the Word who became flesh (John 1). Sometime after Jesus’ first temple cleansing (obviously I take it John 2’s account is a different event than the Synoptics’), Nicodemus shows up to have a chat with Jesus, and it is here that Jesus says that one must be born again (or from above) to see the kingdom of God. The idea is that a radical transformation is needed, wrought by the Holy Spirit, to enter into God’s kingdom.
Then comes Jesus’ famous words: