Nicodemus’ story is fairly famous. But I’m not talking about the little guy who climbed a tree; but about the other man, the ruler who came to Jesus at night to ask Him questions.
Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews, which meant he was most likely a Pharisee, and also a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of that day. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night, probably out of fear of the other rulers. He starts out calling Jesus “Rabbi,” which means “Teacher.” Nicodemus also goes a step farther and says “that God is with Him.” Nicodemus doesn’t understand that Jesus IS God. Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be “Born again.” (John 3:3) Nicodemus is amazed at this! Jesus then ends their conversation with this sentence:
But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
(John 3:21 )
Nicodemus is mentioned again in the Bible in John chapter 7; when the Pharisees are seeking to kill Jesus. He speaks up and says,“Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” To which the Pharisees did not answer his question, but instead replied with a slur to his background of being ‘also from Galilee’.
The last mention of Nicodemus is after Jesus’ death. (John 19:39)
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus wrap Jesus’ body and place it in the tomb. Nicodemus brings about 75 pounds worth of spices-enough for a royal burial.
Notice the progression in Nicodemus’ life. He start out meeting with Jesus at night, in darkness and fear. A little later, he starts questioning the law-and his peers- and what he had formerly believed wholeheartedly. Finally, Nicodemus out of love and respect, gives Jesus a royal burial. It seems Nicodemus has truly come out of the darkness and into the light of truth.
Is that not how it has been for us Christians as well? We start out in the dark, but drawn to Jesus. Jesus challenges our views, changes our hearts and shows us light.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
(1 Peter 2:9)
Further reading: John 3:1-20, I John 1:6