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Summary: In the cover of night, hood over his head, Nick sneaks out to rendezvous with Jesus. What do we learn from this meeting between Jesus and Nicodemus?

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NICK-AT-NIGHT

JOHN 3:1-21

It’s nighttime. Darkness has fallen like a blanket on the city. A thick fog hangs in the air.

A man nervously glances at his watch. 6:30pm.

It’s safe to leave now.

The man knows that most of his co-workers have already left the office for the evening and have headed home.

Normally on a night like tonight, he would be sipping coffee with some of his colleagues debating their favorite subject: THEOLOGY.

Not tonight. Tonight he had different plans.

In a stroke of good luck, no one had even asked him what he was doing tonight.

The fact that he hadn’t had to lie to anyone comes as a relief.

With his important position, he can’t afford to lose his integrity.

He quickly exits the building and whistles for a cab.

“5th and main” he quietly says to the driver, hoping his voice will not be recognized.

He asks to be dropped off 2 blocks away from his destination. He pays the driver, and glides along the empty street.

Staying close to the shadows he arrives at a tall wooden building.

He ascends the stairs and makes his way to the 4th floor.

Leaving the stairwell and walking briskly down the hall he suddenly stops in front of room 402.

He hesitates. “Should I go through with this?” he thinks to himself.

Feeling a sudden surge of fear he turns to leave. But then something catches his eye.

It’s the key he arranged to have left for him in front of the door.

He picks up the key, opens the door to room 402 and sitting in front of him on the floor is the man he’s come to visit.

The man on the floor looks up from behind the scroll he’s been reading and says with a smile on his face, “Nicodemus, I’ve been waiting for you.”

Let’s pick up the story as the Apostle John tells it in John 3:1-21.

READ JOHN 3:1-21.

The way John tells this story it kind of sounds like a James Bond movie.

A secret rendezvous by two men.

One a respected teacher of Israel. The other a freshman miracle-worker who has recently caused quite a stir with His radical teachings and Non-traditional behavior.

Nicodemus, we’ll call him Nick, has heard this man Jesus give speeches on several occasions.

At the end of each speech, Jesus concludes his talk by performing a set of miracles.

At one Jesus heals a blind man. At another Jesus heals a diseased woman. Each time Nick attends one of these events, his curiosity grows.

At last He can’t help himself. He has to know more about this man they call Jesus.

But he’s afraid. His peers, his colleagues, are beginning to show open hostility toward Jesus.

They don’t like what he’s saying and they are jealous of his popularity with the people.

But Nick is different. He’s always prided himself on the fact that he keeps an open mind to new things.

This Jesus has come and has started saying things he’s never heard before.

• Jesus says things like, “In order to find your life you must lose it.”

• Jesus says things like, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.”

No one has ever talked like this before.

Jesus seems to talk less about rituals and rules and observances and more about things of the spirit. Things that have to do with actually knowing God personally.

On one occasion Nick actually heard Jesus say that He was “the way, the truth and the life, and that no one could come to the father unless they came through Him.”

Nick’s peers raised their eyebrows at that one. They mumbled underneath their breath that Jesus was just being blasphemous.

But not Nick. Something about Jesus and the way He talked had struck a nerve in Nick, a nerve long forgotten and buried under a pile of memories.

Finally Nick decided to arrange a meeting with Jesus.

But how could he meet with Him without his friends finding out and turning on him, possibly forcing him out of the Pharisee Club.

Nick came up with a plan and arranged to have a secret meeting with Jesus at night.

Jesus, always compassionate, always willing to work with people, agreed to meet with him under the clandestine conditions.

Nicodemus was a member of the Pharisees.

For Nicodemus, that meant he believed 3 important things.

• He believed that spirit beings such as angels and demons really did exist.

Once he had watched with his own eyes as Jesus performed an exorcism, making the evil spirit come out of a little boy who’d been possessed. Nick had remembered being amazed at Jesus power over these evil spirits.

• He believed that people would be rewarded or punished in the next life based on how they behaved in this life.

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