Who Was Nicodemus in the Bible & Was He Saved?
According to John 3, Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a member of the Jewish ruling council, who came to Jesus in the middle of the night with a question for him. He heard an answer that would be hidden in the minds of Christians for decades to come.
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus: You Must BeBorn Again
Now there was a guy named Nicodemus who belonged to the Pharisees and was the ruler of the Jews. When this man came to Jesus in the middle of the night, he told him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher sent by God, since no one can do the marvels that you perform unless God is there with him.” When he asked Jesus about it, he received the following response: “Truly, truly, I say to you, until one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” “How is it possible for a man to be born when he is old?” Nicodemus inquired.
Is it possible for him to enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?” According to Jesus’ response: “Truthfully, really, I say to you, unless one is born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” When the body gives birth to anything, it is called flesh, and when the Spirit gives birth to something, it is called spirit.
- The same holds true for everybody who is born of the Spirit.” “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus inquired of him.
- Indeed, I say to you, we speak of what we know and offer witness to what we have witnessed, yet you do not benefit from our testimony.
- Except for the Son of Man, no one has ever risen into heaven except for him who descended from heaven.
- (See also John 3:1-15)
Nicodemus’ Secret Conversation with Jesus
Throughout John 3, Nicodemus acknowledges that God must have sent Jesus as a result of all of the miraculous wonders that he did. In his response, Jesus gets right to the core of the problem, saying, “. no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John 3:3). Nicodemus, pondering both figuratively and practically, wonders how anybody can be born twice (John 3:4). Jesus resumes the discourse with Nicodemus, instructing him on the importance of being born of the Spirit (John 3:5-8).
John 3:12 – Jesus bemoans the fact that Nicodemus cannot seem to understand such a lofty notion as heaven, and he turns to an Old Testament account (Numbers 4-9), which a Pharisee was almost certain to have heard previously, in order to explain how one might be born again and go to paradise.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whomever believes in him may not perish but have everlasting life,” John says in the context of Nicodemus’s tale.
In fact, God did not bring his Son into the world in order to condemn the world, but in order to save the world through him.” (See also John 3:16-17.)
Nicodemus was Not a Spy
Nicodemus’ motivations have been called into doubt by certain researchers. They stated that he came on behalf of the Sanhedrin as a type of snoop, with the mission of tricking Jesus into delivering an official response based on the questions he would pose. After all, Nicodemus uses the first-person plural to express himself (” We know You have come from God as a Teacher “). However, there are three issues with this approach.
- In light of the fact that other Jewish authorities confronted Jesus in the open, Nicodemus would not have needed to sneak through the night to see Jesus
- Yet, he did not inquire and instead stated that Jesus was a Teacher from God. To be sure, Nicodemus later reveals himself to be a believer when he arrives with Joseph of Arimathea to prepare Jesus’ body for a proper Jewish burial (John 19:39)
- But, more importantly, Nicodemus later reveals himself to be a believer when he comes to prepare Jesus’ body for a proper Jewish burial (John 19:39).
Nicodemus was Honestly Seeking God
The most likely explanation is that Nicodemus, while not entirely convinced of Jesus’ divinity at the time, had witnessed the marvels performed by Jesus. He devised a strategy for seeing Jesus by comparing what he understood about the Old Testament with what people expected to happen when the Messiah came. As a result, he arrived sincere in his search for God. By the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, Nicodemus had gained the confidence to share his newfound faith with the rest of the world. According to Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, “and though he arrived by night, subsequently he openly acknowledged Christ as his Lord and Savior.”
What Else Does the Bible Say About Nicodemus?
Nicodemus warned a group of unbelieving Pharisees in John 7:50-51 about the consequences of unjustly taking Jesus. Afterward, in John 19:39, after Jesus had been killed, Nicodemus joined forces with Joseph of Arimathea to bury Jesus in accordance with Jewish tradition. He brought “a combination of myrrh and aloes weighing around seventy-five pounds,” according to the Bible (John 19:39). Adapted from Alfred Edersheim’s The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (Book III, Chapter VI) and from the lecture notes of Dr.
Photograph courtesy of Unsplash/JamesColeman.
Nicodemus – Wikipedia
|Nicodemus helping to take down Jesus’ body from the cross (The Deposition, byMichelangelo)
|Defender of Christ
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Nicodemus (; Greek: o, translit.Nikódmos) was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, and he is named in the Gospel of John in three different places:
- He initially comes to Jesus in the middle of the night to discuss Jesus’ teachings (John 3:1–21)
- Then he meets Jesus again the next day to discuss Jesus’ teachings (John 3:1–21). It is the second time that Nicodemus is said that he tells his fellow members of the Sanhedrin (the Jewish court system) that the law demands that a person be heard before being condemned (John 7:50–51)
- The final character to appear is Nicodemus, who arrives after theCrucificationof Jesus to bring the traditional embalming spices and to assistJoseph of Arimathea in preparing the corpse of Jesus for burial (John 19:39–42).
It is believed that an apocryphal work bearing his name—theGospel of Nicodemus—was written in the mid-4th century, and it is mostly a reworking of the earlierActs of Pilate, which describes theHarrowing of Hell. Ochser and Kohler (in an article in The Jewish Encyclopedia) and other historians have argued that Nicodemus may be the same person asNicodemus ben Gurion, who is recorded in the Talmud as a wealthy and popular holy man claimed to have had magical powers. Those who disagree with this interpretation point out that the biblical Nicodemus was probably an older man at the time of his encounter with Jesus, whereas Nicodemus ben Gurion arrived on the scene 40 years later, during the Jewish War.
In John’s Gospel
Nicodemus, like Lazarus, does not belong to the tradition of the Synoptic Gospels and is only addressed by John, who devotes more than half of Chapter 3of his gospel and a few lines of Chapter 7to Nicodemus, and who references him for the final time inChapter 19. It is revealed that Nicodemus is a Pharisee who comes to visit Jesus in the middle of the night the first time he is mentioned. According to the scriptures, Jesus traveled to Jerusalem to participate in the Passover festival. The moneychangers from the temple were ejected and their tables were thrown to the ground during his visit to Jerusalem.
Because no one could achieve the miracles you are performing unless God was present with them.” (See also John 3:2).
Then there’s a dialogue with Nicodemus about what it means to be “born again” or “born from above” (Greek: v) and what it means in practical terms: In his discussion with Nicodemus, the idea of being actually born again from one’s mother’s womb is explored; nonetheless, most theologians agree that Nicodemus understood Jesus was not speaking about literal rebirth.
- ‘You cannot mean that a guy is going to be born for the second time after entering his mother’s womb the first time.
- In response to the “ateacher of Israel,” Jesus expresses amazement, possibly sarcastically, that he does not comprehend the notion of spiritual rebirth: 3:10–11 (John 3:10-11.) Is it possible that you are a master of Israel and are unaware of these things?
- KJV Nicodemus is described by James F.
- In Chapter 7, Nicodemus counsels his colleagues, who are referred to as “the chief priests and the Pharisees,” to listen carefully and thoroughly before reaching a judgment on Jesus.
- Nonetheless, it seems likely that he had some kind of influence on the Sanhedrin during his time there.
Nicodemus must have been a wealthy man, according to Pope Benedict XVI, who writes in his bookJesus of Nazareth: Holy Week that “the quantity of thebalm is enormous and transcends all natural proportions, indicating that this is a royal funeral.”
Veneration and liturgical commemoration
Nicodemus is revered as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Churches as well as the Catholic Church. Several churches, including the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine-rite Catholic churches, commemorate Nicodemus on theSunday of the Myrrhbearers, which is celebrated on theThird Sunday of Pascha (i.e., the second Sunday after Easter), as well as 2 August, the date on which it is believed that his relics, as well as those of Stephen the Protomartyr and Gamaliel, were discovered. The feast of the discovery of their remains is commemorated on the next day, August 3, according to the traditional Roman-rite Catholic liturgical calendar.
In Ramla, the Franciscan Order built a church dedicated to Saints Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea under the patronage of the saints.
Nicodemus appears significantly in medieval images of the Deposition, in which he and Joseph of Arimathea are seen taking the dead Christ from the cross, typically with the assistance of a ladder, and burying him in the tomb. Like Joseph, Nicodemus became the subject of several religious traditions during the Middle Ages, notably in association with massive crosses, which he shared with Joseph. His carvings of theHoly Face of Lucca and theBatlló Crucifix were said to have been aided by angels, with the face in particular receiving divine help, and therefore becoming examples ofacheiropoieta (angelic assistance).
The presence of Nicodemus in Henry Vaughan’s poem “The Night” is essential because it helps to develop the poem’s description of the night’s connection with God.
In the Lutheran prescribed readings of the 18th century, the gospel passage of Jesus’ meeting with Nicodemus in the middle of the night was allocated to the Sunday before Trinity. Johann Sebastian Bach produced many cantatas for the event, the most notable of which being O heilges Geist- und Wasserbad, BWV 165, composed in 1715 and based on a libretto by the court poet in Weimar, Salomo Franck, and remaining faithful to the gospel. In 1937, Ernst Pepping produced an Evangelienmotette (moteton gospel text) for the characters Jesus and Nikodemus.
Tim Curry recorded a cover version of the song for his debut album, Read My Lips, in 1978.
A very casual version of the connection between Nicodemus and Jesus may be found in the song “Help Yourself” by The Devil Makes Three, which is available on iTunes. Nicodemus is mentioned in the second stanza of the song “Help yourself,” which was performed by The Devil Makes Three (band).
In Persuaded: The Story of Nicodemus, author David Harder tells the story of Nicodemus, a real fictitious character from Greek history. With the goal of maintaining historical and scriptural accuracy, Harder based his novel on events and timetables found in the pages of the Passion Translationversion of the Bible. He also brought biblical characters to life in a realistic story with the goal of keeping his book historically and scripturally accurate.
During the Protestant vs. Catholic struggle
A person adhering to a Church other than the one that was prominent in a region during the fight between Protestants and Catholics in Europe from the 16th century to the 18th century ran the risk of harsh punishment – and in many cases, the chance of losing their lives. As a result of this development, the word ” Nicodemite ” came to be used, which is often a derogatory term to refer to someone who is accused of publicly misrepresenting their genuine religious views by showing deceptive appearances and concealing true convictions.
In particular, the descriptive term ” born again “, which is used to describe salvation or baptism by certain organizations, and John 3:16, which is frequently referenced to characterize God’s plan of salvation, may be traced back to Jesus’ conversation with him. He was a figure of rebirth for African-Americans after the Civil War, writes Daniel Burke, as they strove to shed their former status as slaves. Rosamond Rodman claims that liberated slaves who relocated to Nicodemus, Kansas, following the Civil War gave their town the name “Nicodemus” in honor of the former slave owner.
evoked the biblical figure of Nicodemus as a metaphor for the need for the United States to be “reborn” in order to successfully confront social and economic inequalities.
- Nicodemus as depicted in art
- Jesus and Nicodemus by Crijn Hendricksz, 1616–1645
- Cima da Conegliano, Nicodemus with Christ’s body, Apostle John on the right and Mary to the left
- Tanner – Nicodemus coming to Christ II
- Cima da Conegliano, Nico
- See, for example, David Flusser’s Jesus (Jerusalem: Magnes, 2001), 148
- Idem’s ” Gamaliel and Nicodemus “, JerusalemPerspective.com
- Zeev Safrai’s “Nakdimon b. Guryon: A Galilean Aristocrat in Jerusalem” in The Beginnings of Christianity (ed. Jack Pastor and Menachem Mor
- Jerusalem: Yad Ben-Zvi (1991). The Gospel of John is a collection of stories about a man named John who lived in the first century AD. InterVarsity Press, Leicester, p. 186
- Richard Bauckham, “Nicodemus and the Gurion Family,” Journal of Theological Studies, vol. 47.1 (1996), pp. 1–37
- Nicodemus is a work by James F. Driscoll. The Catholic Encyclopedia.Vol. 11.New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 13 December 2014
- AbcBurke, Daniel.Nicodemus, The Mystery Man of Holy Week, Religious News Service, 27 March 2013
- A 144–45, 472–73
- “Henry Clay Work Biography”.notablebiographies.com
- Overell 2004, pp. 117–18
- Livingstone 2000
- “Nicodemus National Historic Site”, National Park Service
- Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther King Jr (16 August 1967). Speaking at the Eleventh Annual SCLC Convention, “Where Do We Go From Here?” was the topic of the address. University of Stanford’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute (MLK Jr. R&E Institute). It was retrieved on the 30th of November, 2018.
- Cornel Heinsdorff: Christus, Nikodemus, and the Samaritanerin in the city of Juvencus. Cornel Heinsdorff: With an Annotation on the Lateinische Evangelienvorlage (= Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte, Bd.67), Berlin/New York 2003
- With an Annotation on the Lateinische Evangelienvorlage (= Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte, Bd.67), Berlin/New York 2003
|Wikimedia Commons has media related toNicodemus.
- Nicodemus is mentioned in the Jewish Encyclopedia and Butler’s Lives of the Saints as “St. Nicodemus.”
Who was Nicodemus in the Bible?
Answer The only place in the Bible where we can find out anything about Nicodemus is in the Gospel of John. His status as a Pharisee is stated in John 3:1. The Phariseeswere a group of Jews who were zealous in their adherence to the word of the Law and who frequently stood in the way of Jesus throughout His mission. They were frequently chastised by Jesus for their strict adherence to the law (see Matthew 23). In addition to being a Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus (who later became the apostle Paul) was also a Christian (Philippians 3:5).
- John 7:50–51 states that Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, which was the ruling body of the Jews at the time of Jesus’ death.
- In the time of Christ, the Jewish people were granted a degree of self-rule under Roman control, and the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem served as the final court of appeals for matters pertaining to Jewish law and religion.
- It indicates that Nicodemus was a member of the Great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem at the time of his death.
- Many have believed that Nicodemus was terrified or embarrassed to approach Jesus in the open air, so he chose to pay him a visit at night instead.
- There are a variety of additional possibilities as well.
- The investigation of any teachers or other public personalities who could be leading the Jewish people astray would have been his obligation as a member of their ruling council.
- When Nicodemus expresses skepticism, Jesus reprimands him (possibly gently), reminding him that, as a leader of the Jews, he should already be aware of the situation (John 3:10).
We meet Nicodemus again in the Bible, this time in his formal role as a member of the Sanhedrin, who is debating what to do about Jesus at the moment of his death.
However, Nicodemus argues that Jesus should not be discarded or condemned until the Pharisees in power have heard from Him personally: “Does our law condemn a man without first giving him a hearing and understanding what he does?” Nicodemus argues.
The last time Nicodemus is mentioned in the Bible is in John 19, shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion.
Joseph is characterized as a wealthy individual in the Gospel of John, and as a member of the Council in Mark 15:43.
Joseph went to Pilate and requested for the corpse of Jesus.
The huge quantity of funeral spices would appear to imply that Nicodemus was a wealthy individual who held a high regard for Jesus and his teachings.
Was he a devout follower of Christ?
On these topics, the Bible is deafeningly quiet, and there are no reputable extra-biblical references that can provide solutions.
We might speculate that Nicodemus’ final documented act was his public statement of faith, however we are not told how public this declaration of faith was. His portrayal in the Gospel of John is mainly positive, which shows that his religious beliefs were genuine in the first place.
Who was Nicodemus in the Bible?
Nicodemus is well remembered for meeting with Jesus in secret at night because he was afraid of being discovered by the Jewish authorities. He was a Pharisee who was also quite wealthy. Get your free Bible study guide by clicking on the following link: Getting a Second Chance in Life
Browse Article Contents:
- Nicademus’s meaning
- His appearances in the book of John
- And his genealogy. Meeting with Jesus in private
- “Defending” Jesus in a rhetorical manner
- Remove Jesus off the cross
- Concluding remarks
Nicademus’s meaning; his appearances in the book of John; and his descendants. Intimate encounter with Jesus Making a vocal “defence” of Jesus Conclusion; Removing Jesus off the crucifixion
Nicodemus in the Gospel of John
The tale of Nicodemus exists exclusively in the Gospel of John’s first three chapters, and it is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible.
- When Nicodemus sees Jesus in private, John 3:1-21 is recorded
- John 7:43-53 is recorded
- John 19:38-42 is recorded as Nicodemus assisting in the crucifixion of Jesus
- And John 20:38-42 is recorded as Nicodemus assisting in the crucifixion of Jesus.
Every time Nicodemus is referenced in the Bible, he speaks and acts with more confidence on behalf of Christ. In John 3, he just pays a secret visit to Jesus in order to get information, however in John 7, Nicodemus intervenes on Jesus’ behalf. Nicodemus, on the other hand, is no longer frightened by the Pharisees and instead takes direct action to assist in the removal of Jesus from the crucifixion in John 19. Here is a description of Nicodemus’ actions and his response to Jesus in detail.
1) Nicodemus meets Jesus secretly
Nicodemus first appears in the Bible in John chapter 3, when he expresses a desire to learn more about Jesus and His teachings. Nicodemus is a Greek philosopher who lived in the first century BCE. “Rabbi, we are aware that you are a teacher who has come from God,” Nicodemus says as an introduction to Jesus. Because no one could achieve the miracles you are performing if God were not present” (John 3:2). Jesus dismisses Nicodemus’ complement and instantly redirects the conversation away from Himself and toward Nicodemus’ spiritual state.
Nicodemus begins to doubt the validity of his being born again and returning to his mother’s womb for a second time at this point in the story.
When Nicodemus is asked about this conversion, he responds, “How can these things be” once again (John 3:9).
Then Jesus goes on to explain, “How can I teach you about heavenly or spiritual things if you don’t even understand the earthly things about which I am speaking?” (Matthew 13:34) Jesus shifts the conversation once again to Moses and Old Testament history, which Nicodemus would have been familiar with from his childhood upbringing.
(See, for example, John 3:14-15.) As a result, John 3:16 is one of the most famous lines in the Bible: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only born Son, that whomever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus is demonstrating to Nicodemus that the kingdom of God is not founded on political power and strength, but rather on the selfless, sacrificial love of God, which ends in the salvation of man and the gift of everlasting life to those who believe.
Jesus also informs Nicodemus that God did not send Jesus to condemn and judge the world, but rather to redeem the world from sin.
The truth, on the other hand, is revealed in order that his works may be plainly recognized, and that they have been done in the name of God” (John 3:19, 21).
2) Nicodemus’ defense of Jesus
The second time that John mentions Nicodemus is when the Jewish authorities are attempting to kidnap Jesus from his disciples. Nicodemus, on the other hand, puts a stop to their deeds by interrogating their motivations, stating, “Our Law does not judge a man until it first hears from him and understands what he is doing, does it?” (See also John 7:51.) The Pharisees reply by launching a personal assault on Nicodemus, stating, “You are not also from Galilee, are you? ” “Look around, and you will see that no prophet comes out of Galilee” (John 7:52).
Things change, however, when Nicodemus reappears, and he declares himself to be on the side of Jesus the Messiah, which is a significant development.
3) Nicodemus’ at the cross
Finally, following Jesus’ death, Nicodemus takes the bold and public step of removing Jesus’ body from the cross and assisting in the burial of Jesus in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb. Nicodemus also personally provides approximately 100 pounds of expensive spices for Jesus’ burial, which he personally purchases. Nicodemus is no longer acting in the shadows of society. He is a staunch supporter of Jesus and His mission. He has progressed from being a nighttime silent seeker to being a vocal defender, and finally to being a courageous follower who takes physical action to honor Jesus as his Lord and Master.
When you think of Nicodemus’s narrative, where do you picture yourself? Are you a lone truth seeker who prefers to operate under the cover of darkness? Are you someone who is interested in learning more about Jesus and His teachings? Are you interested in learning more about salvation, heaven, and the process of being born again? Do you consider yourself to be a spiritual leader in your area of influence, yet you just talk vocally and sometimes hesitantly about spiritual matters? If you’re the latter, are you someone who takes bold and tangible action to protect the reputation and purpose of Jesus Christ?
Nicodemus, the mystery man of Holy Week
He came to Jesus in the middle of the night, slipping away to see the guy who was doing the miracles. He was a powerful Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, which he served for many years. He wasn’t meant to hang around with the ragtag group of people who followed Jesus. Nicodemus, on the other hand, needed to know: Was the charming Galilean for real? The following are some of Jesus’ most renowned teachings, as recorded in the Gospel of John: Nobody can glimpse the kingdom of God until they have been “born again,” as he explained to Nicodemus in his sermon.
- Those lines are still often used today — just look at the swarms of John 3:16 placards that can be found at sporting events — but the man to whom they are addressed, Nicodemus, remains a bit of a mystery.
- Nicodemus is revered as a saint in both the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic faiths.
- Others Christians, on the other hand, describe him as a coward who has kept his religion hidden.
- In the Gospel of John, he is only referenced a total of three times.
- Later, Nicodemus informs the Pharisees that, according to Jewish law, Jesus should be given an opportunity to be heard before he is executed.
- The History channel’s “The Bible” miniseries, which concludes on Easter Sunday (March 31), gives Nicodemus a more prominent role, portraying him as Jesus’ most formidable adversary among the Jerusalem Pharisees.
Until the arrival of Nicodemus, the majority of Jesus’ disciples had been “ordinary people,” according to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in his book “Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week.” The former pope says that Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were “two highly recognized representatives of Israel’s educated class who had not yet ventured to confess their discipleship” to Jesus.
In the words of Buchanan, “I felt it would be interesting to examine a possible route for this individual.” “What was it that drew him to Jesus that night to ask honest questions?” says the narrator.
Nicodemus feels compelled to seek out Jesus, who was gaining popularity for his miraculous healings at the time.
‘Because of his education, the way he thinks, and the way he seeks a clear-cut response from Jesus,’ Buchanan said, “he’s a figure that modern Christians can identify to.” Nicodemus was perplexed by Jesus’ mysterious statement, which said that individuals must be “born again.” This remark continues to perplex Christians today.
- Despite the fact that Nicodemus is not on the minds of many current evangelicals, they are extremely concerned with his discussion with Jesus in the Gospel of John, according to Timothy Larsen, a professor of Christian philosophy at Wheaton College in Illinois.
- “Evangelicals have historically given a great deal of thought to when this happened,” Larsen said of the experience of being born again.
- Scholar Rosamond Rodman contends that the freed slaves who migrated to Nicodemus, Kansas, after the Civil War wanted rebirth as well, a goal that predates the arrival of Colson.
- Rodman, on the other hand, contends that the town’s founders had good grounds to commemorate the biblical character.
According to Rodman, “Nicodemus comes to Jesus in the same way that African-Americans came to the Bible: at night and in secret, rightly fearful of the repercussions.” According to Benedict and other Christians, however, the tale of Nicodemus does not conclude in darkness, but rather in light.
In his letter, Benedict says, “The amount of the balm is remarkable and well exceeds any typical proportions.” “This is a funeral fit for a king.” Copyright: If you have any questions about copyright, you should contact the item’s distributor, Religion News Service LLC.
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Was Nicodemus a genuine believer in Jesus?
Nicodemus is an interesting figure in the Bible’s narrative. In the middle of the night, he had a chat with Jesus (John 3:1-21). What, on the other hand, can we say about his trust in Jesus? Was it real, life-saving faith on his part? Was it a genuine interest in Christ’s person that motivated them?
The conversation about regeneration
The tale of Nicodemus’ dialogue with Jesus is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. Here is a man who is a member of the Pharisees and a member of the Sanhedrin (the ancient High Court and Legislative body in the nation of Israel), who has come to Jesus to ask for forgiveness. Despite the fact that Jesus Christ would be rejected by the religious authorities, Jesus Christ advises Nicodemus that he must be born again, even if that means becoming a Pharisee! Nicodemus is attentive, yet he does not appear to comprehend what is being spoken.
He doesn’t ask questions in order to put Jesus to the test, but rather to learn more about him.
He even acknowledges that Jesus is a prophet and that He is a messenger from God.
He doesn’t make any declarations about Jesus being the Son of God.
Nicodemus defends Jesus
Nicodemus is mentioned in two more stories written by the apostle John, both of which include him. There is a disagreement among the Pharisees, as recorded in John 7:46-53. “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and understanding what he does?” asks Nicodemus, attempting to defend Jesus against the bulk of the Pharisees, who are condemning Jesus even before they have asked any reasonable questions. (See also John 7:51.) His remarks were not well received by the other Pharisees.
“Look around and see whether any prophets are emerging from Galilee” (John 7:52).
Nicodemus buries Jesus
Another passage in which the apostle John makes reference to Nicodemus may be found here. In John 19:38-42, we read of Jesus’ burial, and, to our surprise, Nicodemus is one of the individuals who laid Him to rest with his friends. Given what we’ve learned from reading about these three events – Nicodemus’ discussion with Christ, his attempt to defend Jesus before the Jewish council, and his participation in Jesus’ funeral – is it conceivable that this Pharisee came to believe that Jesus is the Son of God?
Did Nicodemus believe in Jesus?
The short answer is that we aren’t sure yet. This passage has no explicit declaration concerning Nicodemus’ belief in and confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is a problem. We might feel a certain amount of pity for him since he has spoken with Jesus and attempted to defend Him in his conversation. However, in the grand scheme of things, none of these characteristics indicate that someone has truly been saved.
Do you believe in Jesus?
We may never know if Nicodemus truly believed in Jesus, but the question of whether he did or did not continues to be of great significance. Do we genuinely believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior? Are we being reborn? Do we believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, or do we deny it? It should not be the final question when we read the Bible that we ask ourselves: how did these individuals behave in this particular situation?
Instead, we should ask ourselves, “How would I respond in this situation?” In this way, the question of whether Nicodemus was regenerate or not eventually leads to the question of whether we are regenerate as individuals.
Meet Nicodemus: A Pharisee Who Placed Jesus’ Body in the Tomb
For Nicodemus, as well as for many other searchers, there was a profound conviction that there was something more to life, a tremendous truth waiting to be uncovered. His visit to Jesus Christ was conducted in secret by a senior member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish top court, because he feared the young instructor may be the Messiah promised to Israel by God.
- Nicodemus was a major Pharisee and a well-recognized religious leader of the Jewish people, and he was known for the following: Furthermore, he was a member of the Sanhedrin, which was ancient Israel’s ultimate court. References to the Bible: John 3:1-21, John 7:50-52, and John 19:38-42 are the three episodes in the Bible that tell the tale of Nicodemus and his friendship with Jesus, respectively. Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin is what he is known for. Nicodemus possessed a sage and inquisitive intellect, which served him well. He was dissatisfied with the Pharisees’ strict adherence to the law. His intense desire for truth, along with the bravery to seek out the truth at its source, made him a hero. As soon as Nicodemus realized he was dealing with the Messiah, he was prepared to defy the Sanhedrin and the Pharisees and bury Jesus with honor. Weaknesses: At first, Nicodemus was deterred from pursuing Jesus in the open because he was afraid of what others might say.
What Does the Bible Tell Us About Nicodemus?
Nicodemus has his first appearance in the Bible in John 3, when he goes in search of Jesus at night. That nightfall, Nicodemus learnt from Jesus that he would have to be reborn, which he duly did. The Chief Priests and Pharisees then sought to have Jesus imprisoned for fraud roughly six months before the Crucifixion. Nicodemus raised his voice in protest, imploring the congregation to give Jesus a fair hearing. Nicodemus is the final person to appear in the Bible after Jesus’ death. Nicodemus, in collaboration with his friend and fellow Sanhedrin member, Joseph of Arimathea, carefully cared for the corpse of the crucified Savior, entrusting the body’s remains to Joseph’s tomb after the crucifixion.
Jesus and Nicodemus
Nicodemus is identified by Jesus as a famous Pharisee who also serves as a leader of the Jewish people. He was also a member of the Sanhedrin, Israel’s supreme court, where he served until his death. Nicodemus, whose name literally translates as “bloodless,” stood up for Jesus when the Pharisees plotted to kill him: Nicademus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own, inquired, “Does our law condemn a guy without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” Nicodemus was a member of their own group.
- When he first learned of Jesus’ ministry, he became upset and perplexed by the words the Lord was preaching to the people.
- As a result, he mustered tremendous bravery to seek out Jesus and to ask questions of him.
- Nicodemus assisted Joseph of Arimathea in removing Jesus’ body from the crucifixion and burying it in a tomb, putting his own safety and reputation at stake in the process.
- These efforts called into question the legalism and hypocrisy of the Sanhedrin and Pharisees.
- This amount of spice was sufficient to properly bury royalty, demonstrating to Nicodemus that Jesus was indeed the King of the Jewish people.
Life Lessons From Nicodemus
Nicodemus was not going to rest until he discovered the truth. He wished desperately to comprehend, and he had a sneaking suspicion that Jesus had the solution. Nicodemus went to Jesus’ house at night so that no one would see him when he first arrived. He was concerned about what may happen if he talked to Jesus in broad daylight, when people would overhear him and denounce him to the authorities. When Nicodemus came across Jesus, the Lord realized the urgency of his situation. Nicodemus, a bereaved and befuddled guy, was catered to by Jesus, the Living Word, with much compassion and respect, as did the entire congregation.
Following his conversion to Christianity, Nicodemus’ life was irrevocably altered.
Jesus is the fount of all truth and the source of all purpose in life.
Whenever we are reborn, like Nicodemus was, we must never lose sight of the fact that we have received forgiveness for our sins and eternal life as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Nicodemus is a role model for all Christians, serving as a symbol of faith and courage.
Key Bible Verses
- “Very honestly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they have been born again,” Jesus said. (John 3:3, New International Version)
- “How is it possible for someone to be born when they are old?” Nicodemus inquired. “Surely they are unable to enter their mother’s womb for a second time in order to birth!” (John 3:4, New International Version)
- In fact, God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that whomever believes in him would not perish but will have eternal life (John 3:16). In fact, God did not bring his Son into the world in order to condemn the world, but rather in order to rescue it through him. (John 3:16-17, New International Version)
The Story of Nicodemus
The narrative of Nicodemus appears in three different places in the Bible, all of which are found in the book of John. After viewing the television series “The Chosen,” which is based on the story of Jesus, I developed a new respect for Nicodemus. He is the one character whose narrative brings tears to my eyes every time I see it, and I love him for it! God has provided us with enough knowledge to construct a fascinating picture despite the fact that we don’t know everything for certain. So, who was Nicodemus, exactly?
Who was Nicodemus?
Nicodemus belonged to the prestigious Pharisees sect of Judaism and was a member of the Sanhedrin, which was the highest Jewish court at the time. Nicodemus held a significant position as ruler of the Pharisees, which was a position of immense authority. He was a wealthy businessman with much power and influence. The Pharisees made a pact with God that they would follow all customs and rules to the letter of the law. The fact that they believed they were the only ones capable of interpreting God’s message, however, caused them to become arrogant.
There was a guy named Nicodemus who belonged to the Pharisees and was a member of the Jewish ruling council.
If God were not present, no one could accomplish the miraculous signs that you are currently performing.” NIV translation of John 3:1-2.
Why Did Nicodemus Approach Jesus at Night?
Although Scripture does not provide an explanation, various hypotheses have been advanced: He was an inquiring, curious seeker who was intrigued by Jesus’ teachings and his capacity to perform miracles, or was he anything more? Was he frightened to come in the daylight for fear of being mistaken for Jesus and his disciples? Visiting Jesus out of his own free choice may have resulted in his losing his position, fortune and social standing. The Jews’ ferocious hostility to Jesus was already increasing on a daily basis.
The Sanhedrin dispatched a delegation to examine the activities of John the Baptist (John 1:19-20).
Is it possible that Nicodemus had a thirst to discover whether or not Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah?
Nicodemus and Jesus
“I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again,” Jesus says in response to Nicodemus’ comment, cutting directly to the core of the problem. v3 of the NIV. (In Greek, the phrase “born again” means “born from above.”) Nicodemus takes Jesus’ words seriously and doubts whether or not a bodily rebirth is indeed possible. He felt that because he was a Jew, he had been born into God’s kingdom right from the beginning. His mind couldn’t comprehend the idea that there was an alternate path to paradise.
“How is this possible?” he wonders (v9).
Nicodemus should have been aware of God’s promise of spiritual regeneration in Ezekiel 36:26-27: “I will put my Spirit in you,” which means “I will put my Spirit in you.” Jesus, on the other hand, is persistent with Nicodemus.
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
Nicodemus is reminded of the story of Moses and the Bronze Serpent from the Old Testament by Jesus (Numbers 21:4-8). As Moses hoisted up the serpent in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up in order for anyone who believes in him to have eternal life. v14-15. Those who looked at the bronze snake and believed would not perish, but would instead live, when the serpent was raised on a pole. This narrative serves as a foreshadowing of the crucifixion. During Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, He explained that He would be hoisted up (on the cross) like the bronze serpent in order to free the people from eternal death.
Although this looks to be the conclusion of the discourse between Jesus and Nicodemus, we see Nicodemus resurface twice more.
Nicodemus the Pharisee
It is now approximately 6 months till the conclusion of Jesus’ earthly career. Since their initial night-time contact, it is quite likely that Nicodemus was aware of what Jesus had been up to since that time. He was most likely aware of Jesus’ ongoing healing and teaching activities. Nicodemus addresses a group of Pharisees in John 7:50-51, and we can see him speaking to them. The Pharisees, on the other hand, were getting angry and frustrated with Jesus, and they devised a scheme to illegally seize Him from the temple guards.
When it came to his confidence in Jesus, Nicodemus did not make a straightforward proclamation.
He may have protected Jesus by raising a genuine legal argument, but he could not have altered the Pharisees’ views by declaring Jesus to be the Son of God at this moment.
Nicodemus had transformed himself from a seeker and skeptic to a protector.
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea
After Jesus’ crucifixion, we’ll take one more look at Nicodemus’ life and ministry. The body of Jesus was later requested by Joseph of Arimathea, who went to Pilate to get it. Because of his dread of the Jews, Joseph continued to follow Jesus in secret for a while. He arrived and removed the body from the scene with Pilate’s consent. He was joined by Nicodemus, the man who had previously visited Jesus in the middle of the night. Nicodemus arrived with a combination of myrrh and aloes weighing around seventy-five pounds.
- Joseph, like Nicodemus, was a member of the Sanhedrin (Jewish judicial body).
- They turned their backs on Jesus out of fear and uncertainty.
- (The quantity of funeral spices Nicodemus offered was prohibitively expensive.
- Nicodemus’ collaboration with Joseph in the burying of Jesus demonstrates his love and dedication to the Lord Jesus.
His faith had now developed to the point that he could bravely go out with Joseph and offer Jesus a private burial, as recorded in the Gospel of John. Their acts demonstrated that they were prepared to sacrifice everything in order to care for Jesus.
What Happened to Nicodemus?
The tale of Nicodemus in the Bible comes to a close with Jesus’ burial. According to my Bible interpretation, neither guy is mentioned in Jewish records or traditions from their time, likely because they were considered traitors, and their names were deleted from all records as a result. ¹ The Bible does not tell us what happened to them. Our answers will be revealed in the hereafter. But, until then, I believe Nicodemus was a sincere seeker who developed to the point of defending Jesus in court and then courageously proclaiming his faith via his deeds and words.
What did Nicodemus Learn from Jesus?
Nicodemus was known as the “teacher of teachers” in the beginning, yet he did not comprehend what it meant to be born of the Spirit. Nicodemus, on the other hand, sought Jesus out in order to receive answers to his sincere questions. He discovered that being “religious” and understanding the Scriptures did not guarantee him entry into the kingdom of heaven. Each of us must look into the person of Jesus for ourselves and choose whether or not we think that He is who He claims to be—our Savior and Redeemer.
- Nicodemus is frequently referred to be a “undercover” believer in the New Testament.
- However, Jesus was patient with Nicodemus, and he continues to be patient with you and me today.
- What are some of the ways your religion manifests itself in actions?
- After coming out in public and assisting Joseph in Jesus’ burial, Nicodemus gave his life to Him and prayed for Him.
- All of this occurred prior to the resurrection!
- Do you advocate for Jesus in front of nonbelievers?
Lessons From Nicodemus
We all have a little bit of the Pharisee in us from time to time, but the Holy Spirit lives inside us to convict us, bring us to repentance, and effect true transformation in our hearts and lives. Nicodemus achieved tangible goods by concealing his interest in and faith in Jesus: he was able to maintain his prestige, power, fortune, and position. His lack of knowledge of Jesus’ deep teachings, a life lived with Him on the earth, and the presence of Jesus’ peace and pleasure in his existence, however, is astounding.
- However, he was granted perpetual life!
- When we allow Jesus to come into our life, He becomes our top focus, our source of satisfaction, and our source of tranquility.
- As devoted followers, we recognize that He is much more valuable than anything or anybody else in the world.
- If we are rejected by others because of our religion, it is because they are rejecting Him, not because we are rejecting them.
- Do you think your spiritual change compares to that of Nicodemus?” As the saying goes, “When you seek me with all your heart, you will find me.” Jeremiah 29:13 (New International Version).
(Wow, such a lovely promise! ) “Blessed are all those who seek shelter in Him,” the Bible says. Psalm 2:12b (New International Version). Blessings! AnnMarie
- Barker, Kenneth L., and Kohlenberger III, John R., eds., Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary, Volume 2: New Testament. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Grand Rapids Press, 1994.
Here’s the account of another Pharisee who had a chance encounter with Jesus: the Apostle Paul, according to the Bible. Related Post