Nicodemus was a Pharisee and an authority among the Jewish people. He was interested in the teaching of Jesus but the Bible does not say whether he was converted. Nicodemus helped to bury Jesus.
One night, Nicodemus visited Jesus to learn more about him. Nicodemus knew that Jesus was sent by God because of the miracles he performed ( John 3: 1-2 ). He knew the Scriptures and recognized the power of God in Jesus’ life.
Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again to enter Heaven. Nicodemus did not understand and asked him how a grown man could get back into his mother’s belly ( John 3: 3-4 ). The Jews did not believe in reincarnation and the idea of being born again was very strange. Jesus explained that it was a spiritual birth . He also prophesied of his death, which would bring salvation to everyone who believes ( John 3: 14-15 ).
On another occasion, when the chief priests and the Pharisees wanted to arrest Jesus, Nicodemus defended him. Nicodemus wanted them to hear what Jesus had to say before condemning him. But they were jealous of Jesus and accused Nicodemus of being ignorant of Galilee ( John 7: 50-52 ).
See also: who were the Pharisees and Sadducees?
When Jesus died, Nicodemus helped Joseph of Arimathea to bury the body. He took a large amount of expensive perfume to anoint Jesus’ body ( John 19: 39-40 ). With this act, Nicodemus showed that he had great regard for Jesus. The Bible says nothing more about Nicodemus and we don’t know the rest of his story.
What can we learn from Nicodemus?
- Humility– Nicodemus was a leader with great knowledge but he had a hard time understanding Jesus ( John 3: 9-10 ). When we have a lot of knowledge, it is easy to fall into the error of thinking that we know everything. We need to be humble to recognize that we still have a lot to learn
- Listening to Jesus– Nicodemus knew that Jesus came from God and he wanted to hear what he said. Nicodemus wanted to know the truth. He found the truth in the words of Jesus
- Courage– Nicodemus tried to be courageous when he defended Jesus before the other Pharisees. But he did not come out as a follower of Jesus. We need to have more courage than Nicodemus to assume our faith in Jesus before other people