I was reading in the Bible a very familiar passage today. It can be found in John 3:1-2. This is the instance where a Pharasee (Jewish religious leader) came to Jesus by night. This Pharasee’s name was Nicodemus. From things that I’ve studied, there are different views on why Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. Here are a couple of the major ones.
- He didn’t want to be seen with Jesus. Nighttime provided a great cloak because not many people if any would be around to see this encounter. Nicodemus had a reputation and it was well documented that Jesus was not on the “Most Loved” list of the Pharasees.
- Night was the time when teachers would prepare and study. Nicodemus knew that Jesus was a teacher and would probably not have many around at this time of the day. This would provide a good time to go and get some answers to some questions that may call for some detail.
- Nicodemus had no other time in which he could have a sit-down with Jesus. Nicodemus was a teacher himself and had many duties that filled his day planner during the daytime. Night would be the only time that he had any free time.
As I began to think about these reasons as to why Nicodemus would come to Jesus under the cover of night, I was struck with what I feel was a sidenote from the Holy Spirit: so what? Is it really that important to know the reasoning why Nicodemus came to Jesus at night? Isn’t the greater point that he actually came to Jesus at all? I am convinced that many times we get hung up on things that are very trivial. With this passage, some may say that Nicodemus was trying to cover his sin and was living in the dark. The truth that we can see from Scripture is that Nicodemus was just like you and me. He was a man who had questions. He did exactly what we should all do: he went to the One who he knew had the answers, Jesus.
Where do you go with your questions? Maybe we should take a chapter out of Jesus’ handbook and do as He did. Jesus didn’t worry about the reason behind the visit; He just welcomed Nicodemus and gave him answers to his questions.