Summary: Nicodemus had been offered a glimpse of the Kingdom of God, but what he decided next would impact his eternity.
I. John began his gospel with these words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for a witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light. There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
II. One of the words that jumped out at me as I read that passage was light.
III. The word “light” is used 47 times by the gospel writers.
A. Although all 4 writers use the word, John seems particularly to enjoy using it.
B. John uses the word some 16 times, and always it is a reference to Jesus Christ.
IV. The picture is this.
A. Man is lost in the darkness; stumbling around looking for the meaning of life, and even looking for life.
B. But all the while that man stumbles in the darkness, Jesus Christ, the light of the world is standing nearby, shedding light on the path, for all that will but come into it.
V. Nicodemus is an example of one that is drawn to the light of Jesus Christ.
A. His journey, rightly enough begins in the darkness, but if I interpret John 19 correctly, his journey ends in the light.
B. Nicodemus came at night, but in chapter 19; the last time we read his name, Nicodemus is in the light.
A. His names mean “conqueror” and I believe he must have become more than a conqueror.
B. The name of Nicodemus is listed in scripture 5 times.
1. Three times it appears in John chapter 3, as he approaches Christ in the dark.
2. The next time is in chapter 7, verse 50 Nicodemus appears as a defender of Christ before the Pharisee’s.
3. And for the last time, he is mentioned in chapter 19, verse 39, and why is he there?
VII. Let me ask you,
A. Who buried the body of Christ, after the crucifixion?
1. Joseph of Arimathea, you say, and you would be correct.
2. John 19 states that Joseph appeared before Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus.
B. But, the text states that none other than Nicodemus, a Pharisee came also with him to ask for the body.
C. From darkness “Into the Light” that was the journey of Nick at night.
VIII. Open your bibles please to John, chapter 3. A Ray of Light (vs. 1-2)
3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Him by night, and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
I. The bible has very little good to say concerning the Pharisee’s, especially in their dealings with Christ.
A. In Acts 6, the Pharisee’s planned to kill the Apostles.
1. But Gameliel stood before his Pharisaical brothers and said, “...I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or actions is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”
2. Those were pretty powerful words.
B. The only other positive picture of the Pharisee’s comes through a man named Conqueror (Nicodemus)
II. It is also pretty unusual in scripture for positive things to happen at night.
A. Jesus was arrested by cover of darkness.
B. Darkness or night is more often symbolic of evil.
III. It was much more typical that confrontations and questioning of Jesus appeared in the daylight,
A. Where people could see and hear the interactions between Christ and his detractors.