Session 3

Are you afraid of the dark?

From John: A 21-Day Devotional

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John 3

Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader, visits Jesus at night to avoid being seen. Jesus tells Nicodemus that only those who believe in Him will be saved. Shortly after, John the Baptist endorses Jesus as the Messiah.

Whether or not we want to admit it, we have all been afraid of the dark. But what makes darkness so scary?

For one thing, it confuses us. When we can’t see anyone or anything, we feel isolated and alone. Walking proves difficult because we can’t see the path. Although we’re usually safe, our imaginations run wild with the dangerous possibilities that could surround us.

We all lived in darkness at one point. Unable to see and believe in God, we lived with a constant sense of loneliness. Uncertain of where to walk, we did things we would probably rather not admit. As unpleasant as it is, we often prefer to stay in the darkness rather than enter the light. We think darkness helps hide the mistakes we don’t want anybody to see. We think if people knew the truth about us, they would judge us. But Jesus tells us it is safe to confess our sins. He promises that He did not come to condemn us for our sins, but to save us from them.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Because Jesus took our punishment, we receive complete forgiveness when we expose our sin to the light. In fact, God can use our mistakes for good if we are willing to confess them. When people see God doing great things through imperfect people, He looks even greater.

• What can you learn about Jesus from this chapter?
• What do you need to confess and trust God to forgive today?
• When people confess their sins to you, how do you respond? Are you forgiving or do you tend to judge people? What about your response needs to change as a result of grace Jesus has extended to you?

3 of 21

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

What if God was one of us?

Jesus was with God when the world was created. He left heaven and entered the earth the way we did — through childbirth. Jesus was human,...

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Session 2

Maybe God is waiting on you

Jesus begins His ministry by turning water into wine at a wedding. A short time later, Jesus goes to Jerusalem for the Passover. When He ...

Read Devotional

Session 3

Are you afraid of the dark?

Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader, visits Jesus at night to avoid being seen. Jesus tells Nicodemus that only those who believe in Him...

Read Devotional

Session 4

There’s only one way to heal your pain

Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well and asks her for a drink. Awed by what Jesus had to say, the woman brought everyone from town to ...

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Session 5

Follow Jesus, not a bunch of rules

Religious leaders get angry when Jesus heals a lame man on the day of rest. They get even angrier when Jesus claims to be God’s Son. For...

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Session 6

Do you have everything you need?

Jesus feeds 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, walks on water across stormy seas in the middle of the night, and follow...

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Session 7

What to do when friendship hurts

As Jesus becomes more well-known, everyone has an opinion about what He should do next. His brothers ridiculed Him, a crowd calls Him dem...

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Session 8

Who you know matters more than what you know

When religious leaders bring an adulterous woman to Jesus for judgment, it becomes a lesson in not judging others. Jesus goes on to expla...

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Session 9

What has Jesus done for you?

Jesus meets a blind man and heals him with a combination of dirt, spit, and the Holy Spirit. When the man’s neighbors learn about his hea...

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Session 10

Why working harder doesn’t make you happier

Jesus compares Himself to a good shepherd who feeds and cares for His sheep. Tired of Jesus’ metaphors, religious leaders corner Jesus at...

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Session 11

Jesus, where are you?

Jesus’ friend Lazarus falls ill, but by the time Jesus reaches Lazarus’ house, it’s too late. Jesus weeps for His friend then raises Laza...

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Session 12

Would you give it all?

Mary washes Jesus’ feet with perfume. The next day, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey as crowds praise Him. Jesus explains why He’s ...

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Session 13

This is what forgiveness looks like

Jesus washes His disciples’ feet, and they share one last meal together. Jesus warns Peter about the separation to come, but Peter doesn’...

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Session 14

How to show Jesus you love Him

Jesus gives final instructions to His friends, explaining what they should do when He’s gone and tipping them off about the Counselor who...

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Session 15

Does your life need some pruning?

Continuing His parting words to His friends, Jesus explains that the way to stay connected to God is by following His example. He also wa...

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Session 16

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Jesus teaches His friends about the Holy Spirit and His role in their lives. He also teaches them the power of praying in His name. In t...

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Session 17

Who do you pray for?

Before heading to His death, Jesus stops and prays for Himself, His friends, and all of us who would believe in Him in the future. If yo...

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Session 18

Where do you turn when everything goes wrong?

Religious leaders arrest Jesus and take Him to the high priest for questioning. Peter follows behind and denies knowing Jesus. After hold...

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Session 19

Jesus did what we could not

Jesus is flogged and crucified. He dies on a cross and is buried in a nearby tomb. Right before Jesus took His last breath, He spoke the...

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Session 20

You can start over

Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ followers, goes to His tomb only to find that He’s not there! Jesus appears to Mary and several others, ful...

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Session 21

You can come back from that

Jesus appears one more time to His disciples while they are fishing. Jesus reassures Peter and encourages His disciples to always follow ...

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