Week 2 | John 3-4
Week 2 Day 1: John 3:1-21
Week 2 Day 2: John 3:22-36
Week 2 Day 3: John 4:1-26
Week 2 Day 4: John 4:27-42
Week 2 Day 5: John 4:43-54
DAY 1: John 3:1-21
Curiosities: Why does Jesus respond to Nicodemus’ praise of Jesus with a statement about being born again?
Those who love evil hate the light. Jesus says this to Nicodemus, who came to Him at night. Jesus not so subtly tells the Pharisees over and over again that they are children of the devil, not God. Jesus is telling Nicodemus that he is part of a group that loves evil and will not inherit eternal life if they reject Him.
Paradoxes: Born again when one is old? This is actually a pretty valid question from Nicodemus. If we weren’t so used to hearing this kind of language, would we have been any different from him? Jesus was saying something intentionally obfuscated to try and get Nicodemus to understand something deeper.
DAY 2: John 3:22-36
Stories: John the Baptist – He must become greater
Curiosities: Wrath remains on the one who rejects the Son; God gives the Spirit without measure
Paradoxes: He must become greater; I must become less – this is the opposite mindset to humanity. We want more, and we want it now. John, “the greatest man born of a woman” according to Jesus, did the will of God and was imprisoned and beheaded unceremoniously.
DAY 3: John 4:1-26
Stories: Samaritan Woman
Curiosities: John mentions that Jesus wasn’t baptizing, but His disciples were. Why is this an important point?
How can we not be thirsty from the water Jesus gives us to drink? That’s a hard concept to realize with our natural minds.
What does it mean to worship in “Spirit and truth?”
Why does Jesus explain clearly to this woman that He is the Messiah when He is reluctant or withholding from being so clear with the Jews?
Paradoxes: No paradox, but an interesting juxtaposition from Nicodemus a chapter before. From meeting with the height of spiritual self-reliance and piety to an adulterous woman from a people group despised by the Jewish people.
DAY 4: John 4:27-42
Stories: Samaritan Salvation
Curiosities: Cultural background on Rabbis speaking with women
Why, after being so clear with the woman, does Jesus go back to being obscure with His disciples about His “food?”
John alludes to the fact that Jesus sent out His disciples to heal and testify as stated in the other Gospels, yet he doesn’t mention it himself. Jesus gives them an illustration about harvesting.
The Samaritan village follows Jesus because of the woman’s testimony and then they hear it for themselves. It is interesting to note that John specifically points out that their faith happened first from her word and then was backed up by meeting Jesus. This reinforces Jesus’ point to His disciples about reaping being easy after the hard work of others.
DAY 5: John 4:43-54
Stories: Royal Official’s Son
Curiosities: Why does John mention the phrase about a prophet not being accepted in his own country? In the synoptic gospels, that statement fits when the Jewish people reject Jesus’ teaching, but it seems out of place here.
Why does Jesus respond to a father’s genuine plea for his son’s life by insinuating that everyone around only wanted to see signs? Doesn’t this seem rude and off-putting? What was Jesus’ point?
The man took Jesus “at His word” and departed. Many times we like to assign faith to a belief in something, but John will make the point repetitively in his Gospel that faith requires action. We turn our belief into faith when we take action. Here the man “departed.” This is no small notion in the book of John.