Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 70

Nicodemus Comes to Jesus at Night

This chapter is based on John 3:1-17.

Nicodemus, a highly educated and honored member of the national council, had been stirred by the teaching of Jesus. Though rich and well-read, he had been strangely attracted by the humble Nazarene. The lessons from the Savior’s lips had greatly impressed him, and he wanted to learn more.

Christ’s use of His authority in cleansing the temple had ignited the hatred of the priests and rulers. They felt they should not tolerate such boldness from an obscure Galilean. But not all agreed about putting an end to His work. Some feared to oppose One whom the Spirit of God so evidently moved. They knew that the Jews were subjects of a heathen nation because they had stubbornly rejected God’s reproofs. They feared that in plotting against Jesus the priests and rulers were following in the steps of their ancestors and would bring fresh disasters on the nation. Nicodemus shared these feelings. In the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus advised caution and moderation. He urged that if Jesus really carried authority from God, it would be dangerous to reject His warnings. The priests did not dare to ignore this counsel.

Nicodemus had anxiously studied the prophecies relating to the Messiah. The more he searched, the stronger was his conviction that Jesus was the One who was to come. He had been distressed by how the priests had profaned the temple. He witnessed Jesus driving out the buyers and the sellers. He saw the Savior healing the sick, and he saw their looks of joy and heard their words of praise. He could not doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was the One sent from God.

He greatly wanted to talk with Jesus, but he was unwilling to go to Him openly. If the Sanhedrin heard about this visit, they would scorn and denounce him. He decided to try for a secret meeting. By special inquiry, he learned where the Savior went for the night on the Mount of Olives. He waited until the city was hushed in sleep, and then he went looking for Jesus.

In Christ’s presence, Nicodemus felt strangely timid, and he tried to conceal this. “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” He chose his words to express and to invite confidence, but they really expressed unbelief. He

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