Weekly Devotion: Provocative Teaching

CFL Springife

The Narrative of Jesus’ Life

The below exchange occurs early in Jesus’ public ministry, so religious leaders were trying to understand Jesus.

Excerpt from the Gospel

John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Sharing your Faith

  • When does Nicodemus visit Jesus? What does this imply about how Nicodemus and other religious leaders viewed Jesus?
  • Jesus asks a provocative question of Nicodemus in verse 3. What are some other provocative questions or statements made by Jesus? (For examples, consider John 8:56-59 or John 2:13-19.)
  • What two analogies does Jesus use to teach that salvation is solely from God the Father? (See verses 3-4 and 8).

Pray for One Another

Each person is invited to share a prayer request. Another participant will volunteer to offer the petition. Once everyone has chosen a prayer request, take turns offering the prayers aloud.


This devotion is for The Holy Trinity, following the LCMS three-year lectionary. You can download a free copy of all the 2017-2018 Conversations about Faith & Life devotions on the Resources page.

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