Such was the character of this man who came to
Jesus by night. The meeting that took place that
night is the most important one in human history.
We know of many great figures who have appeared
in the history of mankind, and their biographies
have been written out in full for all to read. The
Bible only makes brief mention of Nicodemus, but
it seems to me that his conversation with Jesus that
night was the single most important conversation
that has ever taken place.
As a scholar of the scriptures, Nicodemus had been
watching Jesus and the deeds He had performed,
and they had given him food for thought. He had
sensed that there was something deeply significant
to all of this and so he came to see Jesus. He had
come to the conclusion that this Man must have
come down from heaven or He would never have
been able to act with such daring. So he decided to
come and speak with Jesus. He sought out this great
Teacher in order to ask Him about a matter that
concerned his whole life.
This man who would submit to no one was speaking
as a teacher of Israel as he stood before Jesus
and said, "Having seen the things You do, I'm certain
you must have come from heaven."
Let's try to imagine this scene. These two men had
never met before. Nicodemus had come to Jesus
with the greatest question of his life, but Jesus
began to give him an answer that had nothing to
do with the question. In fact, He told Nicodemus
that there was something he had to do.
If we consider the respective backgrounds of
Nicodemus and Jesus, we can see that there was a
tremendous difference between these two men.
Nicodemus was a member of the Council of the
Jews. He was a scholar, thoroughly versed in the
Law. But what kind of person was Jesus? Even
His birth had not taken place in a proper human
dwelling; He had been born in a stable. In the eyes
of the world, He was "(as was supposed) the son
of Joseph" (Luke 3:23). As far as His social status
was concerned, He had grown up in the family of
Once Jesus had turned thirty, He began to appear
in public and carry out His work. It was then that
Nicodemus, this highly educated scholar of the
Law, came to see Him. How do you think Jesus
saw Nicodemus at that time? For Jesus, this was
not a meeting with a scholar and religious leader.
Nicodemus had eagerly awaited the coming of the
Messiah. He had searched the scriptures to find out
all he could about Him, and he had even taught
about Him. Now the Messiah he had sought for so
long was standing in front of him and talking to
him, but this Man was quite different from the person
he had been expecting. Jesus did not regard
Nicodemus with any form of human love, sympathy,
or emotion; His words were full of the power
of the One who is the very source of mercy. This
was not a discussion between two religious leaders,
two scholars of the Law, two people who understood
the Old Testament scriptures and the
words of the prophets. This was not an exchange
of ideas between equals. Jesus' words were full of
deep compassion for this man who had come in
search of something. Through whose eyes was He
looking at Nicodemus?