“Do you really want to see Him this much?”
Nicodemus wrapped his outer cloak over his shoulders. “I need to speak to Jesus face-to-face in order to see if He’s the One we’re to wait for. The Council can’t agree on doing this officially, so I must go at night. Even though it feels like I’m breaking the law somehow.”
“Are you sure He’ll speak with you?”
Nicodemus nodded as he strode to the door. “One of His followers, John, has made arrangements for me to convene tonight. I’ll let you know what I learn when I get back.”
“Godspeed, my friend.”
He looked both ways after closing the door. The streets were empty. Though a life-long resident of Jerusalem the way seemed unfamiliar in the dark. John met him outside the city gate and led him to his encounter.
Jesus greeted him with a hug.
Nicodemus stepped back. “Rabbi, we recognize You as One sent by God because of the miracles You do. Only God can do what You do.”
Jesus placed a hand on his shoulder. “I tell you plainly, to see the kingdom of God one must be born again.”
Nicodemus hoped for a light so he could search Jesus’ eyes. “How can an old man be born a second time? There’s no way for me to re-enter my mother’s womb and experience birth again.”
Jesus sat on a stone and motioned for His guest to sit on an adjacent one. “You are thinking of a physical birth. That must come first, but a spiritual birth must follow. One is visual while the other is of another world. The wind is an entity you can’t see, yet you know it because of its effects. The same holds true here as well.”
Nicodemus sat forward and tipped his head. “Help me understand this.”
Jesus sat up straight. “You’re a Pharisee, a teacher of Israel, yet you don’t understand this. I’m telling you of earthly things to help you know this. How can I make you accept my witness if you’re blind to what I say? I have come to the world from heaven for you. As Moses raised the serpent up in the wilderness so must the Son of Man be lifted up, too. Those who look upon Him will be saved. Those who don’t are condemned already. I have come as a light to this dark place to show the light. But, men love to wallow in the darkness to hide their intentions. A lover of truth will come to the light so God will smile on him.”
God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son, whoever believes Him will live forever.
Do you believe Jesus?
Are His words still a riddle to you?
His words will remain a riddle until you do accept Him for who He says He is. Yeah, I know, that sounds like a riddle, too. Trust me, this step of faith is required for you to make sense of any of this.
As one of Israel’s Pharisees Nicodemus had a firm grasp of what we call the Old Testament portion of the Bible. He’d spent his life studying the nuances of the laws. The prophets’ messages were scrutinized for their meanings as well. Psalms were sung on a regular basis.
Yet, Jesus’ words remained a riddle to him. Nic was stuck on the literal aspects of Jesus’ message to the detriment of his belief. He couldn’t see past what he’d experienced to step into the unknown.
[Tweet “Faith is believing what we can’t see, but trusting it to be real.”]
Faith is believing what we can’t see, but trusting it to be real.
Jesus even pulled a story from the life of the beloved Moses to make His point to Nic. The time Moses lifted up a bronze serpent became His object lesson. Nicodemus would recall this one quickly. We find it in Numbers 21:4-9.
People were dying from snake bites after they complained to God about this never-ending journey. Moses was told to make a replica of the snakes and lift it up for people to see. People who’d been bitten would live if they merely looked at Moses’ “snake”.
At least two things would have jumped out in Nic’s mind:
1. Moses said a greater prophet than him would one day appear. Nicodemus’ goal was to see if Jesus was that Prophet. Jesus did His best to tell him “Yes, I am that man.”
2. When Jesus claimed He’d be lifted up as well to save people Nic would have prophetic proof when the crucifixion occurred. We’ll see how Nicodemus responded by the time of that event in due time.
I’d like to tell you Nicodemus walked away from that nighttime encounter a changed man. But, I’d only be guessing since the Bible doesn’t tell us that.
I’m not concerned about Nicodemus at this point, his life is over. I’m concerned about you. Have you been made new by Jesus’ words, yet? Or, do you still prefer to walk in darkness?
Jesus claimed to be a light come down from heaven to shine God’s love to all who believe. My goal is to reflect His light to you so you see His truth and love poured out for you.
You have a choice to make, my friend. Will you accept Jesus at His word and follow Him into the light?
Or will you continue to stumble in the dark because it’s so familiar to you?
I don’t know how much clearer I can make it to you. I pray God’s Spirit clears the confusion up in your mind today.
We know Nicodemus had a few years to sort things out in his life. We don’t know how much time you have for this decision.
Once you cross that threshold of death your eternal destiny is secured.
Heaven is known as a place with no shadows.
Hell is a place of utter darkness.
That’s the ultimate riddle for everybody to respond to.
Choose to walk in God’s light and my closing is for you.
I’ll see you later. Wade