Summary: The life of Nicodemus is slightly explored along with his visit to Jesus.
I. WHO WAS NICODEMUS?
Nicodemus was somebody rather special in Jewish society. He was a Pharisee, the aristocracy of Jerusalem. 70 Elders and teachers---HIGH priest was PRESIDENT
He is a Pharisee, which means that he was an influential man in religious circles in Jesus’ time. He was also a member of the Jewish ruling council, called the Sanhedrin. He was an influential man. He probably had some wealth as well, so he was not poor. People looked up to him. His neighbors idolized him.
I Corinthians 1:26 “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:”
The name Pharisee means “the separated one”, and the Pharisees were those who had separated themselves from all ordinary life in order to keep every detail of the law of Moses, as worked out over the centuries by the Scribes. Their goal in life was the formal observance of religion, not a spiritual walk with God, but a holier-than-thou attitude.
Can you imagine being Nicodemus and having Jesus tell you that all of this is not enough to get you into the kingdom of God? Nicodemus though had a teachable spirit. Nicodemus was an influential and powerful man who came to Jesus to ask him a question.
II. WHY DID HE COME TO JESUS?
In spite of all his influence and somewhat high status, he came to Jesus at night. Why? Why did this leader of the Jews come to Jesus? (Troy Borst)
1) Was he curious about some teaching of Jesus?
2) Bothered by what Jesus had taught and wanted some clarification?
3) Was he angry and wanted to convince Jesus to shut-up?
Something did indeed bring him to Jesus. I think Nicodemus had questions that he wanted answered. I think something Jesus said sparked his interest. I think Nicodemus couldn’t sleep because he kept rolling his questions around in his head. He just had to go and ask Jesus. (Troy Borst)
He took the initiative. We should do likewise.
III. WHY DID HE COME AT NIGHT?
Was it because he wanted to speak to Jesus in quiet? Did he want the attention of Jesus all himself?
We don’t know exactly, but maybe he came at night because he didn’t want to be seen with Jesus. He was afraid of what others may say about him. He couldn’t be seen talking with this carpenter from Nazareth! (Troy Borst)
Are you afraid to be seen with those who seek Jesus?
IV. HIS CONCERN
John 3:2 “The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”
Nicodemus knew there was more to this man called Jesus than any other man he had met.
Nicodemus knows only one language and that is the language of earth. He doesn’t understand what Jesus is talking about. “Born again?” His earthly language was getting in the way of the Heavenly meaning. Nicodemus is confused. He doesn’t understand. To him, Jesus is speaking another language. He has question after question. Nicodemus wants to understand. He wants to put his questions to rest so he can move on. (Troy Borst)
V. HIS QUESTION
Jesus knew what was on his heart. He started to answer even before Nicodemus phrased his question.
John 3:4 “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”
John 3:9 “Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?”
I think as we look closer and closer at Nicodemus, we will find a man searching and asking questions and looking for meaning. He comes to the right place, he comes to ask Jesus. (Troy Borst)
We don’t have a choice concerning the first birth. That is, the birth in flesh by blood and water.
Whether we are born again or not, lies squarely on our shoulders.
Can we really start over? Can a leopard change his spots? Yes!!!! But, the change is not brought about by wisdom or power. It only comes by God’s Spirit.
VI. THE ANSWER
You must be born again!!!! Regardless of the fact that Nicodemus was born naturally as a Jew. This was not good enough. It didn’t even touch on what Jesus was discussing.
Born of the water = Naturally Born of the Spirit = Supernaturally
VII. THE NEW NICODEMUS
DEFENDING CHRIST IN THE SANHEDRIN
John 7:50 “Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)
7:51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?”
BURYING CHRIST AT THE CRUCIFIXION
John 19:39 “And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.”