In this episode of Witnessing Christ from the New Testament, Mark and Molly Parsons discuss John 2–4.
This podcast episode covers the following:
- John 2:1–25
- Jesus Changes Water into Wine
- Jesus Clears the Temple
- John 3:1–35
- Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
- John the Baptist’s Testimony about Jesus
- John 4:1–54
- Jesus Talks with a Samaritan Woman
- Jesus Heals the Officials Son
Key concepts in this episode include:
- What did Jesus’ miracles show and tell about him?
- How was Jesus the temple that would be rebuilt?
- According to the Bible, what does it mean to be “born again”?
- How do Mormons understand being “born again”? (Cucumbers into pickles)
- What is the difference between those who receive eternal life and those who don’t?
- How do Mormons understand John 3:16–18?
- What witnessing applications can we make from Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus?
- What did Jesus show and tell about himself when he healed the paralytic?
- What witnessing applications can we make from Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well in Samaria?
Links & Resources
- To learn more about why it’s important to explain what belief/faith is and isn’t, check out this blog post about the Christian and LDS views of Faith.
- If you have not yet registered for the Truth in Love Online Community, enroll now to gain access to all of our courses, resources, and more.
- Click here to download a Bible Study outline to use with your Mormon friends, family, and missionaries.
Share the Truth in Love
Share this conversation starter with your LDS friend:
In John 3, Nicodemus relied on his status and efforts to attain eternal life. The investigator was there to understand if this miracle worker was from God. Jesus cut right to the heart and devalued everything the Pharisees taught, throwing out human reasoning.
Eternal life could only be attained by being “born again,” which one could not do to himself, nor could it be understood without faith—trust not in self but in God alone. Jesus said Nicodemus’ efforts, accomplishments, and present status were meaningless.
Children don’t ask to be born and certainly do not help give birth to themselves. Likewise, our children look like us and sin like us. Flesh gives birth to flesh. All of us need to be reborn into a different family through faith.
Similarly, we cannot cause ourselves to be spiritually reborn. This rebirth, which is faith, is only accomplished by the Spirit. Once we have been born again, we look like Jesus and are righteous like Jesus in God’s eyes. The Spirit gives birth to the spirit.
Jesus then explained that salvation comes through faith, and he told Nicodemus where to place that faith by referencing an Old Testament story from Numbers 21.
In the wilderness, the Israelites were once again grumbling against God. They complained because they did not trust him. In punishment, God sent venomous snakes. But he also provided salvation.
If the bitten looked at the bronze snake on a pole, they would live. They lived because they had faith and trust in the promise. It was that simple, look in faith and live.
Likewise, the whole world has been bitten and infected by the venom of sin. Our salvation comes by looking to the Son of Man on the cross, who has taken the poison of sin’s bite, death upon himself, to give us victory over sin and death and provide us with eternal life.