“Living Among the Giants”
TOPIC:“Nicodemus' Revolutionary Night”
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
TEXT:John 3:1, 2
“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;
The same came to Jesus by night”
In those two verses that I have just read there are two words that I want to say something about. One is the name Nicodemus. He is only mentioned 5 times in the entire Bible and they are all found in the Gospel of John. Three times in the chapter before us - verse 1, verse 4 and verse 9.
The other word I call to your attention is the word “night” in verse 2. The word “night” is used approximately 300 times in the Bible. Have you ever considered some of the night scenes of the Bible? Let me mention a few - Jacob wrestled throughout the night with the angel. At night the death angel passed throughout Egypt and struck dead the first-born when the blood was not applied. The disciples fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus continued all night in prayer. Judas betrayed Jesus at night. Paul and Silas sang praises to God at night. Dramatic night scenes from the Bible.
And now as we come to our text we find Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night to have his life transformed and revolutionized. What a night it was. Let's look at it together.
Consider, first of all, the OBLIGATION which demands us to be changed. Three times in our Lord's interview with Nicodemus this necessity of being changed is clearly stated: “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). According to Christ, it is absolutely imperative for us to be transformed if we desire to enter into God's Kingdom.
Now let us understand something of the background which led up to the interview which Nicodemus had with our Lord. At this time the Passover was being celebrated and the city of Jerusalem was crowded with pilgrims from all over Palestine. It was night and from the housetop one could feel the gentle breeze and see the leaves blowing on the trees. Suddenly, under the cover of darkness, not able to wait patiently until daybreak, Nicodemus, this religious and refined man, comes to Jesus for a private interview.
Merrill C. Tenney, New Testament scholar, sets forth three motives why he believes Nicodemus might have come to Jesus by night. 1. Fear of criticism. 2. His desire . . .