Jesus and the Old Testament in John 3:1–15

John presents Jesus claiming to fulfill the Old Testament in dense and various ways in John 3:1–15:

  • He claims to bring in the promised kingdom of God (3:3, 5).
  • He claims to bring the cleansing and renovation of attitude prophesied in Ezekiel 36:24–26 through the new birth (3:5–6).
  • He claims that this renewal partakes of the resurrection blowing of the Spirit prophesied in Ezekiel 37:1–14 (3:8).
  • He claims to be the ascending and descending son of the one who is in heaven from Proverbs 30:4 (3:13).
  • He claims to be the Daniel 7:13–14 son of man (3:13–14).
  • He claims to be the servant who acts wisely who will be exalted from Isaiah 52:13 (3:14).
  • He claims to be the typological fulfillment of the bronze serpent from Numbers 21:4–9 (3:14).

Jesus is the key to understanding the Old Testament.
Jesus fulfills the prophecies.
Jesus matches and exceeds what was typified.
Archetype and resolution of the patterns,
Interpreter of mysteries and himself the solution of them,
Jesus is the culmination of the centuries and the telos of the ages.
Worship him. Love him.
Commit your soul to him and make him your destiny, your purpose, your life’s agenda and meaning.

There is nothing better than what Jesus has done.
There is nothing better than what Jesus makes possible.
There is nothing more powerful that could happen to us than this new birth he brings.
Cleansing from sin with its pure water.
Soul-renewing change at the very spirit of who you are.
Holy Spirit divine power to bring to pass this purifying renewal.
No lack of ability in the Spirit.
No impure motive or purpose at work in what he does.
No possibility of him failing.

Behold the glory of Jesus. Trust him. Be born again.
Forgiveness for all your sin.
Cleansing from all its stain.
Freedom from all its power.
Qualified to see and enter the kingdom.
Enabled to live not just in the flesh but in the sphere of the Spirit.
Illumined to understand the Scriptures.
Given eternal life.
Won’t you believe?
Won’t you savor?
Won’t you hope?
Won’t you cling to these words until the Day?
He is worthy.

–From the conclusion of “You Must Be Born Again” on John 3:1–15, preached at Kenwood Baptist Church on September 29, 2013. For more on what John presents Jesus saying about the new birth, have a listen, or check out the discussion of the passage in God’s Indwelling Presence.

20 Responses to Jesus and the Old Testament in John 3:1–15

  1. Craig H Robinson October 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    Jesus as the New Spiritual Creation

    Day 1 – Light
    Day 2 – Water (Holy Spirit)
    Day 3 – Food / Bread / Fruit

    A – John 3:1-21 – Nicodemus comes at night / LIGHT has come into the world
    B – John 3:22-4:26 – John’s water baptism / Jesus offers Samaritan woman living WATER
    C – John 4:27-38 – My FOOD is to do the will of him who sent me / reap the harvest

    C – John 6 (v48) – Feeding five thousand / I am the BREAD of Life
    B – John 7 (v37-39) – Let the thirsty drink / Streams of living WATER (Holy Spirit)
    A – John 8 (v12) – I am the LIGHT of the World

    A – John 12:35-50 – I have come into the world as LIGHT
    B – John 13:1-17 – he poured WATER into a basin and began washing disciples feet
    C – John 13:18-30 – He who shares my BREAD has lifted his heal against me

    C? – John 15:1ff – Jesus is the true VINE / branches that abide in him produce FRUIT
    B? – John 15:26-16:15 – Jesus will send a helper, the SPIRIT of truth
    A? – John 16:16ff – A while and you will not BEHOLD me / again a while you will SEE me

  2. david bartosik October 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    amen and amen. Stirring hearts with truth- I was encouraged by the truth of who Jesus is and the poignancy of attempting to achieve on my own what he accomplished and a greater dependence on him.

  3. gary June 8, 2015 at 1:19 am #

    Here is the dilemma: Every Christian Old Testament Bible scholar, pastor, and priest on the planet says that the Old Testament prophesies the birth and death of Jesus of Nazareth as the Jewish Messiah (ben David). However, every (non-messianic) Jewish “Old Testament” scholar and rabbi adamantly states that there is not one single prophesy in the Hebrew Bible about Jesus.

    So who are we poor, ignorant, non-Hebrew speaking, non-Bible scholar, saps to believe?

    In lieu of spending the next 10 -15 years becoming a fluent Hebrew-speaking Old Testament Bible scholar yourself, I would suggest using some good ol’ common sense. Who is more likely to be correct:

    1.) Jewish sages and rabbis who have spent their entire lives immersed in Jewish culture, the Jewish Faith, the Hebrew language, and the Hebrew Bible—for the last 2,000 years— or, 2.) seminary graduates from Christian Bible colleges in Dallas, Texas and Lynchburg, Virginia?

    Sorry, Christian scholars, but using good ol’ common sense, I have to go with the Jewish scholars. And Jewish scholars say that Christian translators deliberately mistranslated and distorted the Hebrew Bible to say things in the Christian Bible that is never said in the original Hebrew—all for the purpose of inventing prophesies into which they can “shoehorn” Jesus!

    I strongly recommend that every Christian read orthodox Jewish author, Asher Norman’s book, “Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don’t Believe in Jesus”. This fascinating, easy-to read book written for the layperson/non-scholar, demonstrates, step by step, how the alleged “prophecies” about Jesus in the Old Testament were manufactured by the authors of the New Testament. You will be shocked by the strong evidence that Jews present for their belief that Jesus absolutely could not have been the Jewish Messiah.


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