Nicodemus, the Visitor in the Night
(John 3:1-21, John 7:50, John 19:39)
Nicodemus was a Pharisee; a ruler of the Jews; a teacher of Israel, and a member of the Sanhedrin, the highest council of the Jews. He is only mentioned in the book of John. He believed in Jesus because of His teachings and miracles.
In this single encounter with Jesus, Nicodemus acknowledged Jesus was come from God. Unlike the typical Pharisee, noted many places in the Scriptures that tried to trick Jesus with their questions, Jesus saw that Nicodemus’ soul was reaching out for the truth. Jesus told him he must be born again. Nicodemus asked Jesus two questions during this conversation. First, How can a man be born again? Jesus told him he must be born of the water and the Spirit. Second, Nicodemus asked, How can these things be? Jesus explained to Nicodemus the Spirit by using the wind. We cannot see the wind but we can see the effects of it. Likewise, we cannot see the Holy Spirit but the effects of it: it makes new creatures out of men, it lifts burdens, comforts the sorrowing, and opens minds to the light of the truth.
Jesus used the story of Moses and the fiery serpent in the wilderness to illustrate the redemption plan. While in the wilderness, the children of Israel were bitten by fiery, poisonous serpents and many died. As a remedy, God told Moses to make a serpent out of brass and lift it up on a pole. Everyone who looked at it would be cured. The brazen serpent was made in the likeness of the poisonous snake yet did not bite but cured those who looked upon it. Likewise, Jesus took on a robe of flesh yet was without sin. Those who look to Jesus will be saved from their sins. One of the most beloved scriptures in the Bible is found in the middle of Nicodemus’ conversation with Jesus, John 3:16.
Although Nicodemus kept his encounter with Jesus to himself, he later defended Jesus among his peers in the Sanhedrin when he asked should not a man be heard before he is judged? And finally, after Jesus was crucified, he came forward in the light of day to help Joseph of Arimathaea bury the body of Jesus.
Sis Barbara Burchett