NEW TESTAMENT - LESSON 5
- Jesus teaches Nicodemus that all must be born of water and the Spirit
to enter the kingdom of God.
- Jesus teaches a Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well.
A study of this lesson should help us understand that to receive everlasting
life, we must be "born again" and continue to follow Jesus Christ.
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
- Jesus' Early Ministry.
READ JOHN 3:1-12. Nicodemus comes to Jesus.
- We read in John 2 of Jesus going up to the marriage feast at Cana with
- Cana was a small village a few miles west of the sea of Galilee.
- By this time, Jesus had gathered five discipes: Andrew, John, Simon,
Phillip, and Nathanael (see John 1).
- Jesus' mother, Mary, was assisting with the marriage feast. She was
concerned about the wine running out and asked the assistance of her son.
- Jesus gave instructions to the servants to fill six waterpots with
water. The liquid was poured from the waterpots and first served to the
governor of the feast. The governor tasted of the finest wine.
- This is the first recorded miracle of Jesus.
- . After the wedding feast Jesus went to Capernaum (north coast of Galilee).
- Jesus seems to have chosen Capernaum as a home or base from where to
- We know that this was the home of Peter, Andrew, John, and James.
- We also know that this is where Matthew sat as a tax collector.
- Capernaum was among the more prosperous areas of Galilee.
- After a brief stay in Capernaum, Jesus, his disciples, and family go
down to Jerusalem for Passover & the feast of Unleavened Bread.
- While in Jerusalem, Jesus cleansed the temple (see John 2:14-17).
READ JOHN 3:13-17. Jesus testifies of his mission.
READ JOHN 3:19-21.
- WHO WAS NICODEMUS?
- A ruler of the Jews/a member of the Sanhedrin.
- WHAT WAS THE SANHEDRIN?
- The Jewish senate and the highest native court in both civil and ecclesiastical
- Under the high priest it regulated the whole internal affairs of the
- At the time of Jesus, the extent of its legal jurisdiction was restricted
to Judea. Its decisions were considered morally binding over all the Jewish
- WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE NICODEMUS WAITED UNTIL DARK TO VISIT JESUS?
- It does appear that Nicodemus had been touched by Jesus and was coming
to learn more of the truth. It is obvious that he felt it necessary to
protect his position. How would it look if a Catholic Bishop was found
making an inquiry of a mission president?
- WHAT DID JESUS FIRST TEACH NICODEMUS THAT HE MUST DO TO ENTER THE KINGDOM
- "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
- It appears that Nicodemus had no comprehension of things spiritual.
When Jesus spoke of being "born again", Nicodemus could
only relate it to a physical birth and was puzzled. "How can a
man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's
womb, and be born?" (3:4).
- Jesus clarified his earlier statement in verse 5, "Verily,
verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
- IN THE CHRISTIAN WORLD, WE HEAR MUCH ABOUT BEING BORN AGAIN. WHAT DID
- Born of water: baptism by immersion by one having proper authority.
- Born of the Spirit: to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
- Nicodemus did not understand what the Lord was teaching about this
rebirth and asked how a man could be reborn by his mother. Though Nicodemus
did not understand, the analogy is perfect. When we enter this world, we
are born from water. At the time of our birth, a spirit enters our physical
body. This is only the beginning and the rest of our life is determined
by the actions we take after our birth.
Jesus said that we must be born again, meaning
that we come forth from the waters of baptism and take on a new spirit,
the spirit of the Holy Ghost. The sucess of this rebirth is determined
by the actions we take from that day forward.
- Alma helps us to better understand the meaning of being born again
by asking us some penetrating questions (see Alma 5:14-16):
- And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye
spiritually been born of God?
- Have ye received his image in your countenances?
- Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
- Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you?
- Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body
raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand
before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in
the mortal body?
- I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice
of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for
behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of
- Later Alma asks: "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren,
if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the
song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" (Alma
- Being born again does not take place in an instant, but is an ongoing
- Bruce R. McConkie: "We are born again when we die as pertaining
to unrighteousness and when we live as pertaining to the things of the
Spirit. But that doesn't happen in an instant, suddenly. That...is a process.
Being born again is a gradual thing, except in a few isolated instances
that are so miraculous that they get written up in the scriptures. As far
as the generality of the members of the Church are concerned, we are born
again by degrees, and we are born again to added light and added knowledge
and added desires for righeousness as we keep the commandments."
(BYU Devotional Speeches of the Year, 1976)
- WHAT CAN WE DO TO CONTINUE THIS PROCESS THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES?
- I recently began, again, reading the Book of Mormon. And I was once
again impressed with Lehi's dream and the images he saw. Lehi said that
there arose "an exceedingly great mist of darkness" (1
Nephi 8:23). Those that were desirous to partake of the tree "caught
hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through
the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron" (1 Nephi 8:24).
In today's world we often find ourselves
caught up in a "mist of darkness". By clinging to "the
rod" we can find our way through the challenges, the lies, the
deceptions that would lead us astray. As Nephi tells us, the iron rod is
"the the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of
God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could
the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto
blindness, to lead them away to destruction" (1 Nephi 15:24).
Immersing ourselves in the scriptures and
the words of the living prophets will enable us to successful continue
this process of renewel.
- THERE SEEMS TO BE GREAT DARKNESS IN THE WORLD TODAY. WHY IS IT THAT
SO FEW PEOPLE SEE THE LIGHT?
- When things are dark, even a miniscule light will radiate greatly.
If I were to go up to the KingDome in Seattle, turn out all the lights,
and stand on the 50 yard line with a candle, one could see that light from
just about any seat in the arena.
- This light of the gospel of Christ has been restored to the earth in
our day.Why do so few see it?
- The wickedness in the world must be so great that, as the Savior says,
"every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to
the light, lest his deeds should be reproved" (John 3:20).
- Neal A. Maxwell: "Jesus warned us that evildoers hate light
that illuminates their iniquity. Some foolishly think that if they merely
cover their eyes, they can cover their sins." (Notwithstanding
My Weakness, p80)
- WHY DO OTHERS SEE THE LIGHT?
- WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO WITH THE LIGHT WE HAVE RECEIVED?
Jesus Teaches A Samaritan Woman
- John 3:22: "After these things came Jesus and his disciples
into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized them."
John 4:3-6: "He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.
- According to this verse, Jesus went out and ministered to the people
of Judea following his sojourn in Jerusalem.
- According to Elder McConkie (The Mortal Messiah, volume 1):
- This ministry in Judea lasted until December (9 months).
- He ministered to towns and cities throughout Judea:
- Dead Sea & Perea on the east.
- Egypt & Idumea on the south.
- Mediterranean on the west.
- Samaria on the north
- Their mission: to preach the gospel & baptize souls.
"And he must needs go through
"Then cometh he to a city of
Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob
gave to his son Joseph.
"Now Jacob's well was there.
Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well:
and it was about the sixth hour."
Review John 4:6-26.
- The village Sychar appears to be about half way between Jerusalem and
- Why did Jesus go through Samaria? The route through Samaria was more
dangerous and robber-infested. It was the Jewish custom to take the long
way around through Perea. The Samaritans were hated for their customs and
- Some suggest that Jesus avoided Perea, where Antipas governed, due
to the recent imprisonment of John the Baptist.
- More likely is the fact the Jesus chose to preach the gospel and testify
of his divinity to these people, who were part Israelite.
John 4: 28-30: "The woman then left her waterpot, and went
her way into the city, and saith to the men,
- Show New Testament Video #3: The Woman At The Well.
- HOW DID THE SAMARITAN WOMAN'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE SAVIOR CHANGE WHILE
SHE SPOKE WITH HIM?
- WHAT CAUSED THIS CHANGE?
- He taught at her level of understanding.
- He showed compassion.
- She stood in the Light and the Spirit bore witness.
- WHAT DID JESUS MEAN BY THE LIVING WATER?
- Bruce R. McConkie: "Living water is the words of eternal life,
the massage of salvation, the truths about God and his kingdom; it is the
doctrines of the gospel. Those who thirst are invited to come unto Christ
and drink. Where there are prophets of God, there will be found rivers
of living water, wells filled with eternal truths, springs bubbling forth
their life-giving draughts that save from spiritual death." (Mortal
- The Master used a wonderful comparison when he spoke of living water.
- How important is water to life?
- What did Utah look like before water was used to irrigate the valleys?
- The gospel is "living water" to a thirsty soul.
- There are a lot of thirsty souls out there.
- What does this say about our responsibility towards sharing the gospel?
- HOW CAN WE ASSURE OURSELVES CONSTANT ACCESS TO THIS "LIVING WATER"?
- Go to the "WELL" frequently.
- Attend church meetings and conferences.
- Study the scriptures.
- Get on your knees and speak to the source of living water.
"Come, see a man, which told
me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
"Then they went out of the city,
and came unto him....
"And many of the Samaritans of
that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified,
He told me all that ever I did.
"So when the Samaritans were
come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he
abode there two days.
"And many more believed because
of his own word;
"And said unto the woman, Now
we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves,
and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world."
READ JOHN 4:31-36. Those that do the work of the
Lord will receive wages.
- Jesus introduction to the Samaritans of Sychar came through a woman
who had five husbands and was living with a man to whom she was not married.
- WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS ABOUT THE LORD?
- WHAT DOES THIS INCIDENT TEACH US ABOUT SHARING THE GOSPEL WITH OTHER
- WHAT DID THE LORD TEACH ABOUT MISSIONARY WORK?
- It is the will of the Father.
- The fields of the Lord were ripe for the harvest.
- He that works in the fields and reaps is gathering fruit unto eternal
- D&C 18:15-16: "And if it so be that you should labor all
your days in crying repentence unto this people, and bring, save it be
one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of
my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one sould that you have
brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy
if you should bring many souls unto me!"
- HOW HAVE YOU BEEN BLESSED WHEN YOU HAVE SHARED THE GOSPEL WITH OTHERS?
- Some harvest where others have labored in the fields and sowed.
As members of the Church, we have done as Nicodemus taught and have
been born again. To be born again is not so much an event, but a process.
We need to continually seek to renew ourselves, to be reborn time and time
again as we worship and partake of the sacrament on a weekly basis, as
we strive to keep the commandments, and as we frequently go to the well
of living water. As we do so, we will be blessed with peace in this life
and eternal joy in the life to come.
Lesson 6: Luke 4:14-32; 5; 6:12-16; Matthew 10
Additional Reading: Isaiah 61:1-2: Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20;
3:13-19; 6:7-13; Luke 9:1-6; 12:1-12; D&C 107:23-24, 33-35, 39, 58;
Bible Dictionary, "Apostle", 612
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Changes last made on: Sat Jan 23 1999