“Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus,
a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus at night and said to Him,
‘Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher;
for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’”
John 3:1-2 (NASB)
Nicodemus was drawn to Jesus as one scholar is drawn to another scholar. He recognized that Jesus was in a special class and sought Him out. However, he recognized that as a member of the Sanhedrin, being seen with Jesus would be to risk criticism hence the cover of darkness.
Jesus’ rejection by the Sanhedrin was partly due to Him not being trained in their rabbinical seminary and partly because of some unusual aspects to His teaching. The Jewish leaders would continue arguing publicly with our Lord until one dramatic incident when He truly confounded them over the interpretation of a Messianic passage. (Matthew 22:41-46). From then on, they ceased public debate with this brilliant teacher.
However, Nicodemus found our Lord’s signs very persuasive concerning Jesus having God on His side. Or perhaps better put, the new Teacher was on God’s side. Nicodemus had to know more about this man.
This argument of our Lord’s miraculous works testifying to His origin was also used by the man born blind John 9:30-33 (NIV)
“The man answered, ‘Now that is remarkable!
You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes.
We know that God does not listen to sinners.
He listens to the godly person who does his will.
Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.
If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.’”
This is why we need to have people read the Gospels to have them see the works that persuaded true seekers that Jesus was sent from God.
As we seek to help people come to faith in the Saviour, urge them to read the Gospels, give them a copy of the Bible if necessary and urge them to start reading the Gospel of John. It is an especially good book to persuade people to believe on the Saviour. Offer to explain things they do not understand. If you cannot answer a question from them, go to a church leader and put the question to them.
Pray to the Lord about who you should help today. Opportunities abound in your neighbourhood, among family members, everywhere. The problem is not that you don’t know someone to start with, its who to begin with first.
Remember you represent a scholar like no other.