By Robert Guenther
We are considering a man named Nicodemus who is mentioned in John chapter three. Nicodemus, is a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, who seeks out Jesus by night because of unanswered questions that he has. His life seems to typify how religion can keep us from becoming true believers.
According to Bullinger's appendix #120, II a Pharisee is one who belongs to a sect that is separated by special beliefs and practices, which were very strict as to tithing and eating. They also believed in a resurrection. However their understanding was not in alignment with what the Scriptures taught regarding these subjects. We find that Nicodemus was not only a member, but also a Jewish ruler of this sect.
Nicodemus recognized that Jesus was one sent from God and that He was performing miracles. He refers to Him as Rabbi, these facts seemed to be reasons enough for Nicodemus to seek Jesus out.
Our Lord's response to Nicodemus was a statement about being born again in order to gain entrance into the Kingdom of God. Then Nicodemus wants to know how he can be born a second time after he is old? This birth is not concerning the flesh but rather the spirit is the response.
It seems that this truth is too difficult for Nicodemus to comprehend. The Lord says, "...We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man Which is in heaven."
When we get over to John 7:50,51; we find Nicodemus trying to stand up for the Lord. He asked the rest of the ruling Pharisees this question; "Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?"
The last time that Nicodemus is mentioned is when our Lord is crucified. In John 19:39,40 we find that Nicodemus "...brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices,as the manner of the Jews to bury."
When we consider all three places that Nicodemus is mentioned I think we can safely conclude that he finally believed that Jesus was the Messiah that he had been looking for. Although it is never clearly stated it would seem that the actions that Nicodemus took were surely the acts of a believing one.
In conclusion, we find that Nicodemus is an example of a person who finally accepted the truth and as a direct result will have Life in His name. Do you believe?