The story of Nicodemus reveals that when we seek God he will reveal himself to us with life-changing truth. Nicodemus saw something good and godly in Jesus and stepped closer. It was his burning bush moment, and the meeting changed his life forever…
1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
Nicodemus comes at night. He is a leader in the Jewish ruling council, and clearly he had to be careful with his public image. That’s observation #1. Our public image impacts our coming to Jesus. Has that been true for you? I think it’s been true for me.
Think about it. We can come to Jesus in the privacy of our own homes and under the cover of darkness, and we can learn from him and even be changed in our thinking and hearts and motivation. Yet it’s what we do outside in the public realm which reveals our faith in Jesus. We can come to Jesus in private, yet if we don’t come to Jesus in public we don’t demonstrate our faith.
Obviously this looks different in certain countries and is most applicable in free, democratic societies. If our concern over how we look to others impacts our interaction and relationship with Jesus, our image is a barrier to the growth and maturity of our faith.
That said, let’s cut Nic some slack. Because he came to Jesus. Whether by night or not, he recognized something of God and stepped closer. This is a burning bush moment for Nicodemus. Observation #2 is when we see something or someone who is from God or of God, the right response is to inquire. Draw near and investigate.
God makes a promise in Scripture that when we seek him we will find him; when we draw near to God he will draw near to us (Deuteronomy 4:29, Jeremiah 29:13, Matthew 7:7, James 4:8). This is a clear and repetitive theme in the Bible.
When we look for God and respond to his work in our world, God will open our eyes to let us find him, and he will meet us where we are.
That’s what Jesus did with Nic. And watch how he responds. We will get into this over the coming days, yet the over-arching truth is that when we seek God he responds with the Gospel. The Kingdom of God is about spiritual rebirth through relationship with Jesus. That’s the truth. And God will reveal that truth to people who come to Jesus in inquiry.
Which brings me back to me. If I can help my family, friends, and neighbours to see God in the world and they respond to God by stepping closer, God will answer with the Gospel. Sometimes through us. Sometimes through others. Sometimes directly.
He will answer. And this should change our todays and tomorrrows…