John 3:1-9 – Abundant Life is a Gift

Summary: Life in God’s world begins when our spirit is brought to life by the Holy Spirit. How that birth happens cannot be explained. But we can be certain that our new life with Jesus is really real and it is a gift given in love.

Core Idea: Being made alive spiritually is a gift from Jesus through the Holy Spirit

Ice-breaker question: If you are willing, share a time when you were given a gift that surprised you.

Read: John 3:1-9

Observation (What does the passage say?)

1. What was the evidence that Nicodemus said indicated that God was with Jesus?

2. What did Jesus say must happen before one can see the kingdom of heaven?

3. Humans can only produce human life. According to Jesus, who produces spiritual life?

  1. Is it possible to explain how people are born of the Spirit?

Interpretation (What does the passage mean?)

  1. What do you think Nicodemus was looking for when he went to talk to Jesus?

6. The kingdom of heaven is the rule and reign of God. It is both a present reality and a future fulfillment. What are some characteristics of the kingdom of heaven that we long for?

7. In the original Greek language in which the New Testament was written, the word behind the phrase “born again” can also mean “born from above.” What did Jesus mean when he said that we must be born again, or born from above, before we can be part of the kingdom of heaven?

8. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is like the wind. Both are invisible and we can’t explain where they come from and where they are going to go, but we feel their effects when they move. What are some examples of sure signs that the Holy Spirit is working?

Application (What does the passage mean to me personally?)

9. If you are living a new life because of the Holy Spirit, describe what that new life is like?

10. What are some things that we can do to help others to experience this new life?

(This Bible Study is based on the message shared on Oct 15/17 at Walnut Grove Lutheran Church, Langley BC.)

John 2:18-25 – Jesus is Our Connection with God

Summary: Most of us function as self-guided beings most of the time. But all of us face circumstances in life that overwhelm us. Jesus invites us to let him be the ultimate authority in our lives so he can protect and bless us as we go through life together with him.

Big Idea: Jesus’ resurrection shows us that he can turn our lives around.

Read: John 2:18-25

Ice-breaker question: If you are willing, share a time when you found yourself in a battle of wills with someone else. What was the end result of that situation?

Observation (What does the passage say?)

1. What did Jesus say when the Jewish leaders asked him to prove that he had authority to clear the Temple area?

2. What was Jesus referring to when he said “this temple”?

3. What impact did Jesus’ words have on the disciples after Jesus rose from the dead?

4. In verse 23, we read that many people began to trust in Jesus because of the miraculous signs that he did. What was Jesus’ response?

Interpretation (What does the passage mean?)

5. Why did the Jewish leaders demand that Jesus prove that he had authority from God to do what he did?

6. Jesus responds to their demand by pointing to his future resurrection as the miraculous sign that would show that he had authority from God to do what he did. How does Jesus’ resurrection show that he has authority from God?

7. Why is Jesus’ resurrection so important?

8. Why didn’t Jesus trust people, even those who trusted in him?

Application (What does the passage mean to me personally?)

9. What is one area of your life that you need to give to Jesus and let him have authority over it?

John 2:13-17 – Anger Over Restricted Access to God

Summary: We get angry about many things, but usually we are angry because things are not turning out the way we want. The problem is not with our anger. The problem is with our desires. Jesus fought to give us what we really need, free access to God.

Big Idea: Jesus fought to give you free access to God.

Read: John 2:13-17

Ice-breaker question: Think of the last time you were angry. What were you angry about?

Observation (What does the passage say?)

1. What was happening in the Temple area?

2. What did Jesus do when he saw this?

3. What did Jesus say to the merchants?

Interpretation (What does the passage mean?)

The court of the Gentiles was where the merchants had set up shop to sell livestock for sacrifices and to change money into the currency used to pay the Temple tax. This was the only place where Gentiles (non-Jews) could worship the one true God and the Jews had turned it into marketplace. Other descriptions of Jesus clearing this area imply that the merchants were taking advantage of Jewish pilgrims who came to the Temple from far away for one of the three festivals that Jewish men were required to attend. (Passover was one of the three and the other two were Pentecost and Tabernacles.)

4. Why was Jesus so angry? (List as many possible reasons as you can.)

5. In Ephesians 4:26, we read, “In your anger do not sin.” What is the difference between anger that is sin and anger that is not sin?

6. How are the reasons for Jesus’ anger different from the reasons we have for being angry?

7. Why was Jesus so passionate for his Father’s house?

Application (What does the passage mean to me personally?)

8. Did Jesus’ passion for Father’s house result in good things for us? If so, how?

9. Anger is usually a secondary emotion. What emotion(s) is/are under your anger?

10. What aspect of God’s love do you need to receive more of and apply to your areas of emotional concern?