A man named Nicodemus came to see Jesus at
night. At that time, Jesus was closely watched by
the public eye, and the religious leaders followed
His every move. Some people have speculated that
Nicodemus came to Jesus by night to avoid being
seen and having people associate him with this infamous
Man. They suggest that perhaps it was because
he had to consider his position and reputation
as a religious leader and scholar of the law.
Nicodemus, however, was not such a coward. As
we read through the New Testament, we find that
he comes across as a man who had no time for
fear. He had such courage and was so full of conviction
that he was even bold in rebuking those
who were criticizing Jesus and were ready to hand
Him over for execution. As a result, he came under
Then came the officers to the chief priests
and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why
have ye not brought him? The officers
answered, Never man spake like this man.
Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye
also deceived? Have any of the rulers or
of the Pharisees believed on him? But this
people who knoweth not the law are
cursed. (John 7:45-49)
The Pharisees sent officers to investigate and seize
Jesus, but rather than laying hands on Him, the
officers came back, having been moved by His
words. So the Pharisees said, "Have any of the rulers
or of the Pharisees believed on him?" (John 7:48).
They attempted to make a display of their authority,
pointing out that amongst the Pharisees, the
most orthodox sect of the Jews and the greatest
scholars of the scriptures, there was not one who
believed in Jesus.
The Pharisees also criticized Jesus and His disciples,
accusing them of having broken the laws of the
Sabbath. Jesus' disciples had picked some heads
of grain and eaten them on the Sabbath day, and
Jesus Himself had healed the sick on this day.
Therefore the leaders of the Jews accused them of
not knowing the Law and said they were cursed.
On hearing these charges, Nicodemus became indignant.
Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came
to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth
our law judge any man, before it hear him,
and know what he doeth? (John 7:50-51)
When we consider instances such as this, we can
see that Nicodemus was not a man who would have
come to Jesus by night because he was afraid of
what others might think of him. He too was a
teacher of Israel who was well versed in the scriptures.
At the time of the crucifixion, when the air
was thick with unrest, this brave man came with
Joseph of Arimathea to collect Jesus' body and
anoint it with fragrant oils (See John 19:39-40).
We can see that Nicodemus was more than an ordinary
man. He was not a person to sneak around
by night to make sure that no one saw him. In certain
respects, his character comes across in sharp
contrast to that of Peter, who followed Jesus for
three years and then denied Him three times, saying,
"I do not know the man." Nicodemus was a
fearless individual who would submit to no one.