From Conquered to Conqueror
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. ~John 3:1-2
One of the most significant men of the New Testament is Nicodemus. He was a man who did not allow his education, monetary wealth, prestige, and influence to inhibit him from coming to Jesus for the truth. He knew what the Old Testament Scriptures taught of the coming Messiah, but he also knew what the traditions of his elders taught. This morning, let us be challenged by a man who overcame his fears in order to find the truth about Jesus.
We see Nicodemus and his conscience.
He was a man of the Pharisees. He was of the highest order of the Pharisees. He had to keep the traditions of the elders to the strictest degree. He fasted, gave alms to the poor, and was fastidious about the Sabbath. He was pressured to conform to the practices passed down to him. He rubbed shoulders with men who were not interested in helping the people, but, rather, getting what they could out of them. However, he was a man with a heavy conscience about what he was taught and the truth. He was heavy in his conscience about Who this Jesus of Nazareth was. May God help us to always have a good conscience towards God as this man did.
We see Nicodemus and his conversion.
In John 3:3-18, Jesus presented to Nicodemus the plan of salvation. It was here that Nicodemus heard about the New Birth. He was stirred in his heart about the fact that "except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." He had never heard anything like this before. He heard about the love of God for his sinful soul and how believing in the name of Jesus could guarantee him eternal life. For the first time, he realized that it is not religion that saves, but regeneration that saves. He learned that a true conversion is one that is a spiritual birth from above. He realized that his faith in the law and the traditions that he was supposed to observe could not save his soul. Nicodemus was standing face-to-face with the God Man, Christ Jesus! He realized that he was standing with the Man Who would die for his sins and could give him eternal life. I believe that Nicodemus believed in Jesus as his Savior and was converted at this confrontation.
We see Nicodemus and his conflict.
"Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?" (John 7:50-51). After the Feast of the Tabernacles, Jesus was even more greatly doubted and despised. The Pharisees sought to kill Him. Nicodemus was privy to everything that these wicked men wanted to do to Jesus. He experienced great conflict in his heart. He loved Jesus, and it hurt him to hear that his peers were conspiring to discredit Jesus and discussing His destruction. He came to them and challenged them to give Jesus a fair hearing before judging Him. They responded to him with cynical accusation that, perhaps, he was a disciple of Jesus as well. “Art thou also of Galilee?” In his first major opportunity in which he tried to take a stand for the Lord, he was shut down. Perhaps you have had this same experience when you tried to take stand, but you were shut down as well. As a follower of our Lord, be bold in your testimony and stand!
We see Nicodemus and his commitment.
"And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight" (John 19:39). After Jesus suffered a horrendous death on the cross, His body needed to be claimed and taken down. It was at that critical moment that Nicodemus took his stand with Joseph of Arimathea to claim, prepare, and lay in the grave the body of Jesus. This one act brought him into disfavor and, most likely, censure. However, it didn’t matter: he decided that he would show true commitment of his faith.
Nicodemus means “conqueror.” His faith in Christ enabled him to conquer his fears and to be counted among those who would be called Christians. You, too, are a conqueror in Jesus! In fact, "we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
Have a conquering God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: John 9-10