“No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.”
I remember as a sixteen year old asking myself, “What happens when we die?” Then just as quickly I answered, “We go to Heaven.” Then I asked, “What is Heaven?” Again I answered, “Heaven is doing whatever you like to do forever.” Then I asked “Who gets to go to Heaven?” And again I had an answer. “Those who are good.” Finally, I had to ask, “Who was good?” My answer was that I was good, and anyone who did not kill, or rape, but lived a life like mine, was also good. This answer satisfied me. If anyone had asked what would happen if I died I was convinced that I had an answer. The problem was, it was completely made up. It was the product of my imagination.
There is only one person who knows what awaits man on the other side of the grave. That man is Jesus; the one who came down from Heaven. All others are like me, using my imagination to guess what death holds. No matter how deliberate a religious system may become, no matter how many followers it may have, all others have this in common, they have never been to the other side and back. They are only guessing about eternal life based on the experiences of this life. Then there is Jesus. The one who came from heaven and declares to man:
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John3:14-15
What great joy! To prepare for eternity, all we must do is believe on Jesus Christ and receive His free gift of eternal life.
Questions for John 3
- According to verse 1 and 10, what was Nicodemus’ job?
- Why do you think Nicodemus came to visit Jesus at night?
- As Nicodemus speaks with Jesus (verse 2, 4, 9), how would you describe his reactions and understanding of what Jesus is saying?
- Jesus speaks of a need to be born again. How is a person born again? Look up John 1:12.
- There are four “action” words in John 3:16: loved, gave, believe, have life. Which of those are God’s part? Which are ours?
- John 3:16 is a very famous verse, but verse 17 is an important one as well. According to this verse what did Jesus notcome to do? What did He come to do?
- People claim many reasons for not believing in Jesus. But behind these excuses there is one ultimate reason why people will not come to Him. According to verse 19 and 20, what is this reason?
- In verse 30, John the Baptist declares a truth concerning our relationship with God: He must increase, we must decrease. Do you pursue those ends in your relationship with God?
- Eyewitness testimony is valuable in a court of law, because it gives us access to information we could not gain otherwise (because the events are past). Consider verse 31 and 32 in light of this. Why does what Jesus say about God, salvation, and eternal life carry more weight than what anyone else says?
- According to verse 36, what is essential to “having life”? Can anyone have life who does not have this essential?