They were seething with malice as they listened to a man they had watched growing up call himself a son of God. Their hearts were heavy with grief due to the blasphemy, as they thought, of a young upstart man who was leading the masses astray. They said, ” But this mob that knows nothing of the Law, a curse is upon them. ” (John 7:49)
But one among the number of the respected Jewish Council saw it all through a wave of fascination and awe. He must have lost himself in the midst of the flock that tagged along with its Shepherd. He must have been amazed at the simplicity with which the Gospel of which he was custodian was relayed. The many miracles he saw the man perform had him believing in Him as one sent from Heaven.
That night, when this faith took him yonder, where his feet could never lead him, he sought the master. I imagine how he must have stolen away in the dark night, looking back every few steps. The teachers would not take it kindly. They in fact would consider it the greatest deception of their era.
Most of us see cowardice in his going to Jesus at night. I see a man of great courage. A man who successfully battled the heady pride of being a respected teacher of this Law. Who overcame all the settings and trappings of the authority of his day and time. What decreasing!!
He must have approached the master in reverence, perhaps in a manner unattainable by present-day Christians. He made a statement that has been used by many a great preacher on the Pulpit, ” Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God. ” (John 3:2)
Jesus saw beyond that Praise, that acknowledgment, that measure of faith: and addressed the need foremost, ” Unless a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. ” (John 3:3)
Nicodemus may have been expecting him to bow magnanimously to his generous strew of words. His eyes widened in dawning understanding, that here was THE ONE. Rabbi addressed the paradox of their time, ” You are Israel’s teacher do you not understand these things? ”
I imagine the hunger and thirst with which Nicodemus must have sought to know the depths of that Law he had lived to teach, yet always living by the inch while preaching it by the mile. It was the error of their era. This saw to Nicodemus becoming a defender of the same man he had ceaselessly sought to bring down. ‘Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their number, asked, ”Does our Law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?” It is said of a pastor who asked his congregant why he never attended church services, and the man replied that he was in the secret service. Now, if there was a man ever in the secret service in the life and times of Jesus’ ministry, it was Nicodemus.
Such was the level of worship he attained : ‘He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about 34Kgs. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices in strips of Linen’ (John 19:39-40)
The peaceable fruit of righteousness that Nicodemus received in being taught of the Lord was a heart of worship.
So, where are them that have been taught of the Lord? Where are they that have sat at the master’s feet? Where are those who have counted the cost of following the cause of Christ, and are ready to pay it without demure?