I concluded the study of chapter 2 of the Gospel of John with a very important thought. We must not seek the Lord Jesus for the signs and wonders he can do in our lives. He expects from us a faith based on His Word, an unconditional faith. Today we read the first 2 verses of chapter 3:
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” (John 3:1-2 NASB)
Although the discussion between Nicodemus and the Lord Jesus continues until verse 21, today we will only analyze these verses to better understand the context. So a Pharisee named Nicodemus came to the Lord Jesus. Nicodemus was a leader of the Jews. So he was a man of high religious standing. A ruler. The Pharisees were a religious group in Israel. There were also the Sadducees. Throughout His ministry, Jesus strongly confronted the Pharisees and Sadducees for their hypocrisy and unbelief and for adding human traditions to the Law of Moses. It was the religious elite that put him to death for the Lord Jesus.
Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. Now we realize why — for fear of the Pharisees. It seems that he came with good intentions to send a message of appreciation to the Lord Jesus. Seeing the miracles he performed and the teaching he gave, Nicodemus believed in the Lord Jesus. Later we meet Nicodemus in chapter 19, after the death of Jesus. We read about him that he brought oil for Jesus’ funeral. Verse 39 reads, “Nicodemus, who at first went to Jesus by night, came also, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.” (John 19:39) Compared to the other Pharisees who challenged the Lord Jesus at every step, Nicodemus wanted to learn from the Lord Jesus.
We will see in the next message what Jesus’ response to Nicodemus’ statement was. But one truth we can apply to our lives is that when we have questions about the Lord Jesus, no matter what our social standing and whatever it may cost us, we should hurry to come to Him. Obviously we cannot come to Him physically, but He has left His Word to us in the pages of the Holy Scriptures. In the Bible are His words and all the answers we need.
Let us pray: “Our Father in heaven. Nicodemus understood that the Lord Jesus was a teacher who came from you and that no one could do the miracles that He did, because You were with Him. Help me to understand this truth, to believe in the Lord Jesus, and to follow Him my whole life. Amen.”
God help us. Let us not lose hope when we preach the gospel to the people and meet opposition. Among them are certainly those like Nicodemus, open to God’s message and waiting for us to speak to them.
Translated by Didina Vicliuc