There was a man by the name of Nicodemus who came to visit Jesus at night. The notion that Nicodemus visits at night lets us know that Nicodemus does not want others to know about this visit. However, what makes this more intriguing is that Nicodemus is a Pharisee and a member of the ruling council. So what does this tell us? This tells us that Nicodemus likely has all the answers. His job and identity are based on his understanding and comprehension of God’s law and how that relates to how we live life. But there’s an issue: Jesus.
In the context of John, Jesus’ ministry has just begun, but it has already drawn so much attention that a man who believed he knew everything went to Jesus in the middle of the night to determine what was different about this man. Nicodemus is like a lot of us. We navigate life like we have everything figured out and we think that asking for help or guidance makes us look weak. However, in this moment, Nicodemus elects to recognize that Jesus might just have answers for an insider like him.
This exchange between Jesus and Nicodemus brings about the most popular passage in Scripture: John 3:16. And it’s during this dialogue that Jesus offers Nicodemus a new life and a new way of existing. In some of the encounters that Jesus has, we never learn about how the individual changed. However, with Nicodemus, we do. In John 7, Nicodemus defends Jesus amongst his peers. And more prominently, in John 19, Nicodemus is the individual that provides the myrrh and aloes for the burial of Jesus.
So what can we learn from the story of Nicodemus? One: we don’t have to have all the answers. It’s OKAY and GOOD to ask for guidance and assistance. As an insider, you may feel that this makes you look weak, but in reality it makes you a regular person that needs Jesus just like Nicodemus did. And two, look at how Nicodemus’ life changes after he recognizes this. He doesn’t exist in the darkness anymore. He defends Jesus with confidence and provides what is needed for a burial without taking any of the glory.