Nicodemus’ resumè reflected a rather successful life. He had mastered the academic requirements of Jewish theology and Mosaic Law. He was a respected member of the Sanhedrin Council. His higher moral standing was attested to by his status as a Pharisee. But Nicodemus was looking for something in life with more meaning than what he had. So, he came to Jesus and initiated a dialogue with Him.
The encounter started off with great potential. But the potential never came to be a reality. Jesus seemingly sensed Nicodemus’ need for Spiritual guidance so he responded to his need without Nicodemus having to express it. Jesus told Nicodemus unless we are born again, we cannot see the Kingdom of God. This confused Nicodemus and his reply revealed his confusion. Jesus spoke to Nicodemus in the context of Spiritual reality. But Nicodemus interpreted what Jesus said in the context of religious formality.
It reminds us that being religious and being Spiritual are not the same. Religious people are concerned about rules and guidelines. But Spiritual people are motivated by trusting God and loving each other.
Nicodemus needed to learn that divine possibilities are not based on human logic. That’s what Jesus told him in His own way: “You are certainly aware of the actions of the wind and you can’t explain that by human logic. Then why would you think that you can understand Spiritual mysteries by human logic.” There is a source of knowledge greater than any we will receive from any academic course of study.
We must begin with self-identity. We don’t really know who we are until we deal with ourselves beyond our human limitations. When we know who we are, we realize that we have a purpose in life that is greater than personal fulfillment. There is a joy in life greater than temporary thrills. There is satisfaction that gives us peace more precious than anything this world can offer.
The tragedy of Nicodemus’ story is that, after putting forth all of the effort that he did to see Jesus, he came away missing what he went for—not because it wasn’t possible, but because he refused to let go and embrace Jesus by faith. Scripture mentions Nicodemus in two other places, but never does it report that Nicodemus became a disciple of Jesus.
We must not let Nicodemus’ tragedy become our tragedy. Jesus is available to us. Jesus wants to have more and just a passing encounter with us. He wants to have a transformative relationship with us, where we learn the live and move and have our being in Him. The choice is ours.