Sunday, February 23rd, 2014: Interactions with Jesus Series "Jesus and Nicodemus- It's OK to Ask Questions"

Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a seeker of Christ:

  • He was a member of the ruling council called Sanhedrin
  • He had seen Jesus teach and perform miracles
  • Nicodemus was a learned teacher who came to learn

 

1. Asks clarifying questions    (Risk = Loss of Reputation)

Q) Why did Nicodemus come by night?             (John 3:1-15)

  1. He worked during the day
  2. He came at night so that he wouldn’t be seen
  3. He came at night because Jesus was busy with other people during the day

 

Christ told Nicodemus that if a person wanted to see the kingdom of God, he must be born again. Nicodemus wondered how this could be?  It seemed like an impossible thing for a grown man to be born a second time!

 

  • Nicodemus was an eager learner.  When he didn’t understand – he asked more questions.
  • Nicodemus sought a personal connection with Christ

 

Nicodemus questions prompt - most famous verse in the Bible:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish

but have eternal life.”                    (John 3:16)

 

Other Questions people ask:

  1. Why do the innocent suffer?
  2. Do science and Scripture conflict?
  3. Is there hope for me?
  4. If there are errors in the Bible how can I trust it?
  5. Is there is life after death?  What about me?
  6. How can I know that I am a Christian?
  7. What does the Bible say about right and wrong, swearing, choices, etc.?
  8. What is truth?

   CBC is a safe place to ask questions and get honest answers

Q) What questions do I have about the God, the Bible or living the Christian life?  Place questions on 3X5 card & turn it in.

 

2. Verbally defends:             (Risk = Loss of Career)

“Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?"                                       (John 7:50-51)

  • Apparently, Nicodemus had become a secret believer
  • He confronted the religious system
  • Nicodemus was chided for his comments (John 7:52)
  • He risked his position and becoming banished

From historical sources:

  • Nicodemus was one of the 3 richest men in Jerusalem
  • It was said that he became poor due to persecution

 

3. Lays life on the line:        (Risk = Loss of Life)

Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus.  Nicodemus, who brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes - about 75 pounds, accompanied him.   (John 19:38-42)

  • In accordance with Jewish burial customs
  • Joseph laid Christ in his own new tomb hewn out of solid rock                                    (Matthew 27:60)
  • It didn’t matter how new the tomb was cause Jesus wasn’t staying long!!

 

Took courage to go with Joseph to ask for the body of Jesus

  1. Personally involved
  2. Gave of his personal finances
  3. Laid his life on the line
  4. This is the last time Nicodemus is ever mentioned

    But, what a powerful testimony to a changed life in Christ!

Q) What are you “risking” this week as a follower of Christ?