Here is a guest post, by my daughter, Claira Eastwood.
Nicodemous was an interesting person. He was a member of the Sanhedrin, better known to us Christians as the group who killed Jesus.
He had heard about Jesus (no doubt from his fellow Sanhedrins…), and I’m guessing that he was curious about him. If you had heard all of these horrible things about someone that you had never met, wouldn’t you be at least a little curious about what he was really like? I know I would be. Of course, I probably wouldn’t sneak out into the dark night to go and meet him with no other witnesses around, but that’s what Nicodemous did. Some people may think he was crazy, and I think I may have been one of them. However, when you think about where he was coming from, it all makes sense. Nicodemous had a very high position in the Jewish community, and I’m guessing that he was afraid of people finding out about this meeting, and then his loosing his position. So, he goes out in the dark of night, and meets up with Jesus.
“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemous, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these things that you do unless they have God with them’” (John 3: 1-2). In other words, Nicodemous said to Jesus ‘So, me and my friends and all, we know you are this big guy who came from God, because that is the only explanation for all of the miracles you’ve done’. I have a feeling, though, that not all of the Sanhedrin thought that Jesus was the Messiah. I think that Nicodemous was one of the only (if not THE only) member of the Sanhedrin who knew Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus answers him saying that no one can go to heaven unless they have been born again. I can just imagine Nicodemous thinking, ‘Ooookaaay… are you the Messiah or not? ‘Cause if you aren’t, then we’re done here…’. But he doesn’t say that, instead, Nicodemous says to Jesus, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”. If you put yourself into his shoes, Jesus would have sounded a little crazy, but take a look at what he says to Nicodemous next:
“Truely, truely, I say to you, unless someone is born of both water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God… Do not marvel at what I say to you ‘You must be born again’”. In other words, Jesus was explaining what he had said, but also saying that if he didn’t pay attention, Nicodemous wasn’t going to understand any more than he had when he had first spoken to him. Nicodemous still doesn’t understand and says so, which prompts Jesus to say to him, “You are a teacher of Israel and you do not understand these things?….. I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, so how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”. Jesus is trying his best to explain to Nicodemous that this important stuff, and if you want answers, you must try to understand. Jesus tell him more, including the famous John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world, that he sent his one and only son that whoever shall believe in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life’. I’m not going to go any deeper than I already have, but I would encourage you to read the chapter on your own.
My point in writing this, is that Jesus took Nicodemous just as his was- a member of a group that was eventually going to kill him. Sure, Nicodemous didn’t himself kill Jesus, but that’s not my point. Jesus loved Nicodemous, and wanted to help him understand things that he couldn’t on his own. Nicodemous came to Jesus just as he was- because he was searching for something greater. God will take you just as you are as well. Whether you want to or not. No matter how badly you have sinned, or how new you are to Christianity, God wants to have a relationship with you. He doesn’t care if you are not in a literal mind like Nicodemous, or if you are still confused as to how to do the whole ‘God’ thing. He just loves you. No strings attached.
Related: Listen to ‘Just As I Am’ by Nichole Nordeman.