Summary: Does Nicodemus believe Jesus is the Messiah. In this first person narrative listen to his story
Based Nicodemus encounters with Jesus in John 3, 7 & 19
This is a first person narrative. Feel free to get into costume. I simply came out in jeans, sweatshirt and baseball cap because I didn’t want to be recognized.
Read this first – The Pharisee, Nicodemus, is mentioned three times in the gospel of John. All three of those are incorporated in the message you are about to hear. Some creative liberties of Nicodemus’s exposure to Jesus have also been taken from all four gospel accounts of Jesus’ ministry. Mary’s story is taken from John 20 but her encounter with Nicodemus was a creative liberty taken by the author of this message. Now listen closely to Nicodemus as he shares his encounters with Jesus of Nazareth.
Are they all gone? Is it safe for me to come out? Maybe I don’t care anymore. I’m not really sure what I believe anymore. I think all of the other Pharisees are gone so it is safe for me to come out.
Why so secretive you ask. Things are really messed up right now. It is a very tense time here in Jerusalem. This should have been a time of celebration during the Passover but instead it has been crazy and it all centers around Jesus of Nazareth. Who would have thought that a son of a carpenter could cause such a stir?
Oh, wait a minute. How rude of me to not introduce myself. My name is Nicodemus. I am what is referred to as a Pharisee. I have studied the scriptures all my life. I have memorized them and meditated upon them. I have learned all of the laws and have kept them all, all six hundred and thirty one laws. Well, so I am not perfect in keeping all of these because there are so many of them, I do my best to keep all of them. I teach all of the people about the importance of keeping all of these laws.
As a Pharisee they are always watching me. Do you know what it is like to have your every move scrutinized? I mean really who in the world can be expected to keep all of these laws. I sometimes wonder what God was thinking with all of these laws. There were times when I was younger and I was studying under the Rabbis I would question some of these laws. I would ask, “Is this really what you think God meant in this law? Don’t you think we have taken things a little bit too far? I mean really who is expected to count the amount of steps we can take on the Sabbath?
I was reprimanded by my teachers to not question the Law of Moses and the teaching scriptures. I think they might have kicked me out if not for my family. I came from a pretty wealthy family. I studied hard too. I had a knack for memorizing the Torah. The words were so beautifully penned by Moses. All of the scriptures were so full of teachings and promises.
My people are followers of Yahweh. We kind of have a checkered past of not always following him very well. At times my people have turned away from God and we have faced his wrath. God has always delivered us though. We have come back to him and he delivers us. He sent judges, prophets and kings but we could never seem to get things quite right.
My people have been crying out to God for their own nation again. We want to be the strong Jewish nation of Israel again. Then we can throw out all of these Romans and their pagan gods. We can become pure again and worship our God in peace.
We have been crying out to God for over four hundred years for this deliverance. It is promised to us in the scriptures. The prophet, Isaiah says, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse, from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the people; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people. (Isaiah 11:1 & 10-11a)
That is where we are. We are waiting. Although, I had begun to wonder if our period of waiting was finally over. There was a man by the name of Jesus who had been causing quite a stir amongst the people. Many had begun to claim that he was the long promised Messiah.
I guess it all started about three years ago with John the Baptizer. That guy was crazy, living the in the wilderness and all, but he could really preach. He talked a lot about the coming kingdom and to ready yourself for it.