- Religion and Philosophy
An Encounter of Two Leaders
An Encounter of Two Leaders
Jesus replied, "I assure you unless you are born again you can never see the Kingdom of God."
This passage is a major conversation between two great spiritual leaders . First spiritual leader mentioned is Nicodemus. Let me first describe Nicodemus. Nicodemus is an esteemed Pharisee, highly respected in their society. Being a Pharisee, he has been subjected to very strict religious discipline having memorized the Old Testament scripture, religiously fulfills all the Jewish traditions to the smallest detail. He is also a man of great education having attended the most prestigious schools in their time, under the training of most notable Hebrew teachers. He is also a man from wealthy family, for in their time only wealthy Jewish families can afford the education of a would be Pharisee. He is also a man of great political power. In their time, the church and the state ,was not yet separated, religious leaders has power over political leaders. Religious leaders such as the Pharisees can strongly influence the decision making of political leaders.
How about this man named Jesus which is called the Christ ? He is just a lowly carpenter, a laborer born into a poor family. He has no great education such as Nicodemus . He has no great status in their community. He is not esteemed in the Jewish religious leadership. He is considered an outcast in the Temple or a trespasser in the Temple Courts.
But there is one great thing that Jesus can do that can never do by these esteemed religious leaders, Jesus can perform great and marvelous miracles that cannot be duplicated nor copied. And that makes a great difference. The Pharisees no matter how great is their education in the Jewish schools cannot perform even a very little or small time miracle. But this uneducated poor carpenter from Galilee, can feed thousands out of a few pieces of fish and bread , can calm down a raging storm, can open the eyes of a man born blind and make him see, can make a leper clean, can walk on the water, can turn water into wine , can make a lame walk, can make a bleeding woman healed, can raise a dead man for a few days into life and many more astounding signs and wonders.
This reality made Nicodemus wonder, think that Jesus must b the MESSIAH. So that one, dark evening he came to see Jesus. He did not do it in a broad daylight, he waited until the evening became dark black.,it must be in an advanced hours of the evening when many were already sleeping. He has to do it at this hour ,so that it will be a secret, hidden from the knowledge of the people. Because it is such a very humiliating thing to admit that Nicodemus, though a highly esteemed religious leader has never known the way to the "Kingdom of God,." or do not know how to enter heaven, in other words he has never been assured of his own salvation inspite of his tremendous religiosity. Truly being religious alone or a man may have a religion ,but may still miss the salvation of his soul
.The. World has produced many great religious spiritual leaders , Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, etc. But not anyone among them can perform the miracles Jesus did and no one among them was able to claim 100% assurance of eternal life. Having religion alone will never guarantee assurance of salvation.
Has Nicodemus ever became Jesus disciple ?
In John 19: 39 it is recorded by John,
Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night , also came , bringing about seventy-five pounds of embalming ointment made from myrrh and aloes. Together they wrapped Jesus ‘ body in a long linen cloth with the spices , as the Jewish custom of burial.
Myrrh and aloes are the ebalming ointment used for the kings. It implies that Nicodemus consider Jesus as his king..Yes Nicodemus did become Jesus follower.For Nicodemus Jesus is a Majesty, a King to be worshipped.