As saints of God, we’re all part of His family. In any family, there are resemblances. Maybe you have your mother’s eyes, or your father’s temper. Maybe you and your sister are like two peas in a pod, with similar talents and interests. Maybe you and your cousin could pass for twins. So today I’m pondering — what member of God’s family do I look like?
I’ve always felt an affinity for Nicodemus. You’ll find his story in the 3rd Chapter of John. Here’s how it starts:
“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night ….” John 3:1-2
I like to obey the rules, so, like Nicodemus, I can see myself identifying with the Pharisees. He was curious (definitely me) and he wanted to learn more about this Jesus, but he came at night … because he was also cautious, not willing to make an impulsive commitment in front of others (well, me again). He had his position to think of, after all.
Jesus doesn’t scold Nicodemus for his caution. He recognizes him as an honest seeker and answers his questions. Then we don’t see Nicodemus for a while. When he reappears later in the story, Jesus is before the Sanhedrin. Nicodemus, attempts to defend him (he’s not stupid — I don’t think I am either– and he can see his associates don’t really have a leg to stand on). Yet, he is rebuffed and he doesn’t persist. (Did he think, “I tried, but there wasn’t anything else I could do?” — Have I said things like this to justify myself when I’ve failed to defend Christ vigorously? hmmm–for sure) Then after Jesus is crucified, we see Nicodemus again.
“….Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night.” John 19:38-39
The crucifixion was a catalyst for Nicodemus. He saw clearly now who Jesus was, and he declared himself as a follower. I wonder if he worried that he had committed himself too little and too late. Sometimes I think about that, too. I have often have good intentions, but it’s hard for me to surrender everything and follow quickly.
Yes, I’m alot like my brother Nicodemus. I honestly want to know Jesus, and I believe He is the son of God. (that makes me a saint). However, I can be overly cautious, worried about what others think, and slow to respond (that makes me a sinner). Thankfully my debts have been paid in advance by the One who loves me and knows me through and through.
I’m challenging our other writers to think about and post an answer to this question as I have — Blogging sisters, who do you look like? I really want to read your answers!