Nicodemus’s Night Light
There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
When is the right time to go to Jesus with your questions?
When we have questions or needs, we should go to God immediately. Not wait until we’ve had time to think about it, work through it, talk to others, or work it out for ourselves. We should go to God first.
Unfortunately, most of us try everything else first, and then go to God as a last resort.
Nicodemus had questions. He was a respected man. He was religious, educated, and a ruler. He had questions about Jesus’s teachings and signs, but he wouldn’t talk to Jesus in the light of day. So, he came to Jesus under the cover of dark.
If someone was too embarrassed to talk to me in public where others might see us, I think I might take offense. Jesus, however, welcomed the conversation. He jumped right in to explaining being born again.
Nicodemus continued to ask questions.
We don’t get a lot of resolution out of this middle of the night conversation. However, later in John chapter 3, I found a small part to be a little ironic.
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[h]”
Do you see it?
Nicodemus came to see Jesus under the cover of darkness. What does Jesus say judgment is based on? An individual’s love of darkness.
Notice what Jesus didn’t do with Nicodemus, however.
Jesus didn’t shun Nicodemus or condemn him for coming under cover of darkness.
Jesus didn’t declare judgment on Nicodemus.
Jesus didn’t water-down or candy-coat the facts to spare Nicodemus’s feelings.
Jesus didn’t let Nicodemus leave with unanswered questions.
Jesus didn’t let Nicodemus leave without hope of a chance at rebirth.
I’ve heard Nicodemus’s part of the story from John 3 many times. And pretty much every time he is presented as a mildly bad man.
Jesus loved Nicodemus. Enough to tell him the truth.
Nicodemus may not have chased Jesus down a public street, screaming his name out, while pleading undying affection and servitude, but he had great courage. He stepped out and away from the norms of his religion to get the truth from Jesus Himself. Nicodemus wasn’t ok with just going along with status quo. He wanted to know what was right for himself.
How are we living like Nicodemus? Or are we simply going along with status quo?
What’s one thing you could do this weekend to meet up with Jesus and ask some life-changing questions?