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Nicodemus and Jesus

John chapter 3 contains one of the best known and best loved verses in the entire bible! The context is a clandestine meeting between a nervous Pharisee and Jesus.

Meet the witnesses

In the first 18 verses of this first chapter, John introduces us to Jesus – he is God in the flesh, he was there at the beginning and he is one with God. His entrance into this world was met by people who disowned him, but for those who received him and believed in him he made them his children.

You will recall that John’s purpose is to record what was seen by witnesses of Jesus so that we may all believe. Now that he has introduced Jesus and John the Baptist in broad terms he now starts to tell the story. Jesus’ entrance into public life is about to begin.

Trouble at a wedding, trouble at the temple

In his gospel, John presents to us witnesses of Jesus in order that we may believe. Last time we met four witnesses who made remarkable statements as to Jesus’ identity. This next section of John’s gospel – in fact the next 10 chapters - will deal with specific signs Jesus gave the people in Israel.

1. Introduction

John was the brother of James and their father was Zebedee. There are good grounds for believing that Zebedee’s wife was Salome who was the sister of Mary the mother of Jesus. If this is the case, that makes John a cousin of Jesus. John was thus likely to have grown up knowing Jesus from a very early age. Given that John became one of Jesus’ closest disciples and played an important role in the early church we have a remarkable opportunity to understand Jesus through the eyes and experience of John.