Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
The story of Nicodemus is a memorable encounter that we will consider over the next three days. Today let’s get to know the man Nicodemus.
By all accounts, Nicodemus was a heavyweight in society. As a Pharisee he was a member of a political/religious party committed to keeping the written law of the Old Testament as well as the oral tradition recorded in the Jewish Talmud. He was also one of the seventy experts in the law who made up the ruling council known as the Sanhedrin. This council tried cases of idolaters and false prophets. It was Israel’s supreme ruling body.
Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. We don’t know why he came in the evening. Perhaps so no one would see him with Jesus. Maybe he wanted to be with Jesus away from the crowds to capture some uninterrupted time. The point is that he came. This rich, highly educated, well-known religious leader came to Jesus as a humble seeker.
Coming to Jesus always means leaving any manmade credentials at the door. Seekers realize that something is missing. Material possessions, positions of power, fame — these things have left them wanting. Fear and a sense of desperation fill their hearts. They come helpless and hopeless, beggars starving for bread. Nicodemus led a full life with an empty heart. Know anyone like that?
Father, help me to always come to You without pride or pretense. Help me come seeking the food that only You can provide. Humble my heart. Help me seek the only One who can fill the void I experience apart from You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.