Monday: Nighttime Rendezvous
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Wealthy, well-positioned, famous people did not intimidate Jesus. Christ neither resented nor revered the social elite. The Savior recognized that financial prosperity could not supply peace, personal contentment, meaningful relationships, or deep-seated purpose. The wealthiest magnate could easily be lonelier, emptier, and angrier than the simplest, poorest, and most humble Christian believer.

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Analyze Jesus’ interaction with Nicodemus (John 3:1-15). Which events probably stimulated Nicodemus’ interest in Jesus’ message? (Hint: review John 2:13-25.) What significance does the darkness play? What is Christ’s central message for Nicodemus?

Nicodemus had witnessed God’s power and authority as revealed through Jesus’ ministry and thus sought to meet with Him, but in secret. Jesus might have refused this secretive overture, but, unwilling that any should perish, He readily accepted this opportunity to bring Nicodemus another step closer to the kingdom. Nicodemus’ poverty was spiritual not material. Enriched with worldly goods and elevated social position, he was, nonetheless, spiritually starving.

Instinctively Nicodemus rebelled against any suggestion that knowledgeable Israelites like himself should require conversion. Jesus, however, persisted, presenting Nicodemus with the eternal choice between judgment and salvation. Fearing denunciation and ridicule, Nicodemus refused to accept Christ’s invitation. The interview had apparently failed. That spiritual seed, however, lay buried, slowly germinating beneath his heart’s soil.

After the Lord’s ascension, when the disciples were scattered by persecution, Nicodemus came boldly to the front. He employed his wealth in sustaining the infant church that the Jews had expected to be blotted out at the death of Christ. In the time of peril he who had been so cautious and questioning was firm as a rock, encouraging the faith of the disciples, and furnishing means to carry forward the work of the gospel. He was scorned and persecuted by those who had paid him reverence in other days. He became poor in this world’s goods; yet he faltered not in the faith which had its beginning in that night conference with Jesus.-Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 177.

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Monday: Nighttime Rendezvous — 14 Comments

  1. One thing I have discovered about Jesus even today nobody comes or goes to Him and comes back empty handed Either physically, spirtually or otherwise

    Like(32)
  2. It's not in our ability but to dwell on the power of The Lord.
    Nicodemus has taught me that it's never too late. What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and loose his soul. Lord, teach us how to store riches in heaven and not on earth.

    Like(16)
  3. The wealth of Nicodemus did not hinder him from being a follower of Christ but Nicodemus was afraid of what other rich people would say. With us , we should not fear what people will say but fear what God hates.

    Like(18)
  4. Jst as Nicodemus, we can seek the lord in secrecy but when we get transformed,we will be happy to spread the good news outwardly without fearing what our friends of different callibers may say.

    Like(12)
  5. As usual I am going to be a bit contrary with this lesson and stand on the side of Nicodemus. I don’t think he was a cowardly man of wealth lording over his fortunes like the other Pharisees. I think he was a wise man seeking truth rather than being fanatically foolish. To me coming to Jesus at night was no more an act of cowardice than it was for Jesus to tell people to stay quiet about Him.

    As Solomon said, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecc 3:1 NKJV) and it was not the time for Nicodemus to prematurely burn bridges before crossing them. There was a work for him to do in the Sanhedrin by stalling the wicked designs of the Jewish leaders.

    So we need to ask if there are such things as sleepers that rise up at a chosen time like Esther did in Persia. Certainly Nicodemus needed some straightening out but could it be that what he did was a leading of the Holy Spirit involving a lot of wisdom?

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    • Tyler,
      Very insightful. Perhaps cautious is a better word than coward to describe Nicodemus. He wanted to be sure this was more than infatuation with a star.

      Still it would take quite a bit of forethought for the night visitor to plan out all his future moves, especially while even the twelve disciples did not know the path Jesus would take. As well Nicodemus is not recorded as saying anything to Jesus to suggest he had a plan.

      It seems a little easier to see the Holy Spirit working on and through Nicodemus day by day as He opened himself to the influence and used him to the extent he was available. God always has a plan, but He does not necessarily open everything before us at the beginning. Rather He asks us to trust Him day by day, yielding our will, and if we cooperate He uses us. If not he finds another instrument (Esther 4:14) to advance the kingdom.

      Nicodemus' slow and deliberate decision making might have served him better than a hasty, emotional response; so that when it mattered the depth of his relationship would not be easily disturbed in difficult times.

      Ours is the privilege to take time to know Jesus.

      Like(4)
  6. God is good. We as Jesus, may or may not have the opportunity to withness to the rich but wherever we are place, let us withness for Him. The are also rich people in our churches. Did we ever think some of them need Jesus just like Nicodemus? We have to encourage those who are rich to share the wealth with those who don't have by giving more to the mission field eg ADRA, Adventist Frontier, AWR etc etc.

    Like(4)
  7. There are a lot many like Nicodemus these days who will take time to know and understand the truth before they fully engage in church's activities. A lot many stay aside and carefully plan on how to join the ministry. Our problem is that we are always on the rush to get them converted. To have them know what our goals are and get them going at the same pace as our planned christian lives. We tend to ignore this lot most times as they seem to be so slow for us to enlist them to ourselves and we even go ahead to condemn them. How i wish we could know and understand this before we loose many a people by our careless need for church members rather than true Christ's converts!!

    Like(3)
  8. I luv your post, Ephraim. As christians, we easily condemn people who accept christ at a slow pace but that is dangerous.
    Our impatience tends to rather drive them away frm Christ.

    Like(2)
  9. [Modertor's note: Please use your full name.]
    The fact that the seed planted in nicodemus on that night never died just shows me how great and powerful the conviction of the holy spirit is!!!! No matter how long you stay in sin,there is always a chance of repentance and God waits for us patiently for he does not want any to perish!!!!his love is just too amazing!

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