Bible Study – March 2024

Conversations: Jesus and … Nicodemus (John 3:1–21)

Whenever you want to share something with another person, a friendship, a discussion item, information – it begins with a conversation. We don’t get very far without having conversations with others. When God came to earth by becoming a human being in Jesus, his whole life was full of conversations, too. From the cradle where he cooed at Mary and Joseph; to interacting with much older, studied teachers of the law in the temple as a boy; and then calling his disciples and teaching his followers, conversations took place throughout Jesus’ life and ministry. The many conversations between Jesus and people that have been recorded have become a hallmark of how we see Jesus, how we relate to him and find deeper connection to God. Throughout the year, we will explore conversations Jesus had with different people and listen to what our Saviour has to say to us through them.

Read John 3:1–3

Who was Nicodemus? Why do you think he needed to sneak out at night to visit Jesus?

Instead of calling out his secret nightly visit, Jesus receives him with grace and immediately engages in deep conversation.

Have you ever felt nervous to meet someone and were relieved when you were not rejected?

Read John 3:4–9

The key to a good conversation is to engage with each other on topics that interest both sides instead of talking about irrelevant things. Nicodemus is a theologian and Jesus engages with him in ever deeper theological discourse.

What do you think Jesus would start talking with you about, since he knows your heart?

Verse 8 is an encouragement, from Jesus to Nicodemus, that God works far beyond the strict confines his religious rules have instilled in him.

Have you ever experienced God working in ways you were not expecting, and you didn’t think were possible?

Read John 3:10–21

Can you recite John 3:16 off by heart? Do it if you can!

It’s easy for us to understand, because we know how the story ends: Jesus dies on the cross and is resurrected and we have salvation with God when we put our trust in him. Nicodemus did not know the crucifixion would happen. But he understood the picture Jesus was giving him because he was a master of the Jewish Torah (Law).

Read Numbers 21:4–9

How are the bronze snake on the pole and Jesus the same? How are they different?

Jesus doesn’t judge or condemn Nicodemus. He invites him to grow and learn through conversation and listening. This causes him to see Jesus very differently from his fellow Pharisees. We witness him care for Jesus’ dead body.

Read John 19:38–40

As you go about your week, quietly reflect on how knowing Jesus is shaping you and your actions.

Let us pray together:

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to us so we can grow in love toward one another and learn from you. Grant us an inquisitive and curious mind like Nicodemus so we keep coming to you for answers and never stop asking questions. You have the words of eternal life. Make us humble and willing to listen to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Maria Rudolph

About the Author

Maria Rudolph

After encountering Jesus and getting baptised while I travelled around Australia as a German backpacker, I completed a Bachelor of Theology at Australian Lutheran College in Adelaide and am currently studying towards a Bachelor of Ministry there. Together with my pastor husband Michael, we have lived and served in congregations in Newcastle, NSW and now in Perth, WA while also bringing up three lively children.

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