7th June 2013

Nicodemus 

Now there was a man of the Pharisees called Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night…
John 3:1-2 (NIV UK)

The discussion between Nicodemus and Jesus is one of the most famous stories in the Bible. It is to Nicodemus that Jesus declares that we must be born again. The “gospel in a nutshell”, John 3:16, is spoken to Nicodemus.

Nicodemus was curious about what Jesus had to say, but it appears that he did not want to be seen publicly with him. Therefore he visited Jesus by night. It could be dangerous to be out after dark, when, in the words of Jesus, men’s “deeds were evil” (3:19). Was Nicodemus afraid of what others might think if they knew he had gone to meet Jesus? Jesus said to him, “whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God” (3:21).

What impact did this meeting have on Nicodemus? The answer is that he did come “into the light”. Nicodemus changed. Later he was not ashamed to be associated with Christ. In John 7 some of the Pharisees plotted to capture Jesus but it did not work out as they planned. Nicodemus, “who was one of their own number”, defended Jesus. Surely, he said, you can’t condemn a man without hearing him (7:45-52).

The last time we hear of Nicodemus is at the cross. What happened was in plain sight for anyone to see. It was before nightfall. There was no subterfuge or embarrassment, only love in action for the one Nicodemus came to accept as Saviour. His friend, Joseph of Arimathea, who, like Nicodemus had been a disciple “secretly for fear of the Jews”, went, accompanied by Nicodemus, to ask Pilate for the dead body of Jesus. “Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about 34 kilograms. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen” (21:38-40), and they laid Jesus in a new tomb in the garden adjacent to where Christ was crucified.

The difference in Nicodemus was like night and day. Previously he cared about what people might think, but now it did not matter. He was not ashamed to be associated with our crucified Lord.

What about us? Do we need to move out of the darkness of night into the lightness of the day, and be pleased to be identified with Jesus?

Prayer
Help me, Father, not to hide my allegiance to Jesus from others. Teach me to stand up and be counted as one of his followers.
In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by James Henderson

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openbibleAbout the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  You are welcome to attend any of our Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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