After the wedding, he went down to Capernaum with his mother, brothers, and disciples, and he did not stay there many days. When the Passover of the Judaeans was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Jesus found men selling oxen, sheep, doves, and money changers in the Temple. He fashioned a stock whip out of cords and drove all sheep and oxen out of the Temple; he also spilled out the coins, overturned the tables of the moneychangers, and said to those selling doves, “Take these away from here; do not make my Father’s house a house for merchandise.” His disciples remembered what was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” [Psalm 69:9] (John 2:12-17)

In reply to all this, the Judaeans said to him, “What sign do you show us since you do these things?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days, I shall raise it.” The Jews replied, it has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary, and you will raise it in three days?” But Jesus was speaking about the sanctuary of his body. Thus, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he said that, and they believed the scriptures and this saying that Jesus had said. (John 2:18-22)

When Jesus was in Jerusalem during the Passover, many had faith in his name at the feast because they saw the signs he was performing. However, Jesus did not entrust himself to them because he knew everyone and did not need any testimony concerning him by them, for he knew what was in humanity. (John 2:23-25)

Questioned By Nicodemus

Now, there was a man, one of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Judaeans. This man came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you have come as a teacher from God, for no one can produce these signs you perform unless God is with him.” Jesus replied, “Amen, amen. I tell you, unless someone is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Nicodemus questioned Jesus, “How can a man be born when he is old? He is not able to enter back into his mother’s womb a second time and be born?” John 3:1-4)

Jesus replied, “Amen, amen. I tell you, unless a man is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh. That which is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed because I told you you must be born from above. The spirit breathes where it will, and you hear its sound but do not know where it comes from or where it goes; such is everyone born of the spirit.” (John 3:5-8)

Nicodemus asked Jesus, “How can this happen?” And Jesus replied, “You are the teacher of Israel, and you do not know these things? Amen, amen. I tell you that we speak of what we know and bear witness to what we have seen. You people do not accept our witness. If you do not believe what I have told you of things upon the earth, how will you believe if I tell you of things in heaven? No one has gone into heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted the serpent in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted, that everyone having faith in him might not perish but have the life of the Age.” (John 3:9-15)

Jesus continued, “For God so loved the cosmos as to give the Son, the only one, so that everyone having faith in him might not perish, but have the life of the Age, for God sent the Son into the cosmos not that he might pass judgment on it, but that the cosmos might be saved through him. Whoever has faith in him is not judged; whoever does not have faith is already judged because he has not had faith in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: The light has come into the cosmos, but men love darkness more than light because their deeds are wicked. Everyone who does evil things hates the light and does not approach the light for fear his deeds will be exposed. However, whoever acts in truth approaches the light so that his deeds might be manifest – that they have been worked in God.” (John 3:16-21)

Discussion Questions

  1. When Jesus cleared the Temple, He showed strong emotions about how the place of worship was being used. Why do you think Jesus reacted so passionately about the misuse of the Temple, and what can this teach us about respect for places dedicated to worship and prayer?
  2. Jesus spoke about His body as a sanctuary that would be raised in three days after being destroyed. What do you think He meant by this, and how does this prophecy about His resurrection strengthen our faith in His power and identity?
  3. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night to ask questions and seek understanding. Why do you think Nicodemus chose to visit Jesus at night, and what can we learn from his desire to seek answers and understand more about faith?
  4. Jesus explained to Nicodemus the concept of being “born from above” or “born of water and spirit.” What do you think it means to be born of the spirit, and how can we experience this new birth in our own spiritual lives?
  5. Jesus talked about light and darkness, explaining that those who do evil avoid the light for fear of being exposed. How can we strive to live in the light and ensure our actions reflect truth and goodness? What steps can we take to embrace and share the light of Jesus in our daily lives?
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