Everything you wanted to know about Christianity
at the Anglican Parish of the Otways
Please join me each week for our reflections
of sermons conducted during our church service.
Plus, occasional splashes of humour and epiphanies!
With much Love and Blessings
Rev. Jenny Brandon
Nicodemus is only referred to three times
and only in John’s Gospel,
but he is an interesting character.
The first time Nicodemus appears in the gospel
is in this passage, coming just after Jesus
cleared the temple in Jerusalem.
We are told that he was a Pharisee
and a member of the Sanhedrin
and was so impressed by the teaching and deeds of Jesus,
it was clear to him that the hand of God was in them.
So he came to Jesus at night to discuss
matters of faith with him.
Jesus and Nicodemus discussed faith long into
the night about the meaning of being “born again”.
Nicodemus explores the notion of being
literally born again
from one's mother's womb,
butonly in order to exclude it, and to draw
forth from Jesus the true meaning.
By the time Nicodemus puts in his second appearance,
opposition to Jesus has hardened.
By now the Pharisees had made up their minds to kill him,
and were ready to do so without even giving him a trial.
But Nicodemus intervenes,
declaring that Jesus should at least be given
a fair hearing as the law demanded. (John 7:51).
The third and last time Nicodemus appears is at
the burial of Jesus. It was Nicodemus who
provided the very expensive quantity of spices
for his burial (John 19:39)
So what can we deduce about Nicodemus
from these three brief appearances.
The first appearance shows us he was an
intelligent, open minded man,
a genuine seeker of the truth.
The second appearance shows us he was a fair
minded man, when he insisted that Jesus should
not be condemned without a fair trial.
The third appearance shows us that he was a
very wealthy man, but also generous and compassionate.
All these qualities we can admire and imitate,
but what Nicodemus seems to have been unable to do
until well after the resurrection
was to come out and make a full and public declaration
of faith in Jesus.
It took him some time to develop the courage he
needed to come out of the darkness
and choose decisively for the light.
Reflecting on Nicodemus should challenge us
to come out from the shadows,
and not to be ashamed or afraid
to openly profess our faith in Jesus,
and be ready to pay whatever price is
required for doing so.
Those who believe will not be lost,
eternal life is theirs,
but the challenge for us is not to simply believe,
but to live according to that belief.
May we find that courage and live lives
lit up by his grace, peace, love and freedom.
The Lord Be with You!
About the author
Rev. Jenny is an ordained Priest of the Anglican Diocese delivering services at Anglican Parish of the Otway churches every week.
With great depth of knowledge and a spiritual practice that shows she walks her talk and has taken her to the far reaches of N.T. Australia working with indigenous youth and elders.