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Nicodemus Came to Jesus   

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 attack himself.

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.

 

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