John 3: "Ye Must Be Born Again"

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 77–78

Some of the most basic questions in religion are: Is there a God? Does He know or care about me? What would He have me do? Is there a heaven? If so, how do I qualify to go there? A Pharisee named Nicodemus had some of those same questions. He went to Jesus by night, we presume, so that other Pharisees would not see him. As you read John 3, look for what Jesus taught him.

Understanding the Scriptures

John 3

Listeth (v. 8)Wants, chooses 
Master (v. 10)Teacher 
Lest (v. 20)For fear that, because they are afraid that 
Reproved (v. 20)Punished, be told they are wrong 
Tarried (v. 22)Stayed 
Purifying (v. 25)Baptism and other ceremonial cleansings 
By measure (v. 34)In smaller amounts 
Qumran purification font

Qumran purification font.

John 3:8—“The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth”

It is difficult to explain how it feels to feel the Spirit. Jesus compared it to trying to tell someone about the wind, as the accompanying illustration shows.

It is not seen by the eye, yet we perceive its operation. We feel it; we sense it. We know it exists by the effects it produces. It can be gentle or very powerful.

The Holy Ghost


The Wind

brass serpent

Christ on the cross

The serpent Moses put on a pole was a symbol for the Savior. Just as looking upon the serpent saved the Israelites from physical death, looking to Christ can save us from physical and spiritual death.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A and one other activity (B–D) as you study John 3.

Activity A Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—John 3:5

  1. 1.

    According to John 3:2, how did Nicodemus know that Jesus was “from God”?

  2. 2.

    What did Jesus say was a more sure way of “seeing”? (see v. 3).

  3. 3.

    What did Nicodemus say that indicates he was not thinking spiritually when he began speaking with Jesus?

  4. 4.

    Find at least two scriptures that explain the two kinds of baptism Jesus said we must receive (use the helps available in the LDS editions of the scriptures to find them).

  5. 5.

    Why do you think Nicodemus went to Jesus “by night” (v. 2)?

  6. 6.

    Read John 19:38–40. Do you think Nicodemus believed what Jesus taught him? Explain your answer.

Activity B iconFor God So Loved the World

  1. 1.

    According to John 3:16–17, what is one way we know how much God loves us?

  2. 2.

    What do those verses teach us about what Heavenly Father and Jesus want to do for all people?

  3. 3.

    Explain how you think people would perish if Jesus had not come into the world.

Activity C iconLight versus Dark

  1. 1.

    In your own words, write at least two statements of truth that explain principles Jesus taught in John 3:19–21.

  2. 2.

    Give an example from your life, or from things you have seen, of how each of the statements are true. (You do not have to use people’s names in your examples.)

Activity D iconLessons from a Great Prophet

From John 3:25–33, list the lessons you think leaders, teachers, and missionaries could learn from what John the Baptist said and did. Include the verses where you found each idea.