Prayer: O Jesus, help me to grow in faith.
Imagination: (Picture Nicodemus speaking with Jesus.)
Nicodemus appears in three different stories in John’s gospel. In this meditation, we will use all three because they show his growth into discipleship.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Scene One: (Jn 3:1-10): Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus said, “No one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above.” Since Nicodemus did not understand, Jesus went on, “No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of the water and the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered, “How can this happen?” Jesus responded, “You are a teacher is Israel and you do not understand this?”
Scene Two: (Jn 7:50-56): The Pharisees were accusing Jesus. Nicodemus, who had come to him earlier, said to them, “Does our law condemn a person before it first hears him and find out what he is doing?” They said, “You are not from Galilee also, are you?”
Scene Three: (Jn 19:38-39): Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus, came and took Jesus’ body down from the cross. Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about a hundred pounds.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Fearful about what others might think, Nicodemus comes secretly at night.
- He does not have a full understanding of Jesus. He calls him a “Rabbi” and knows only that he is a teacher who performs some signs.
- This first meeting seemingly has no results. Nicodemus makes no act of faith and does not become a disciple.
- In the second scene, he gains some boldness. He confronts the Pharisees and speaks in Jesus’ defense.
- In the final scene, Nicodemus casts off all his fears and publicly shows that he loves Jesus.
- He is now a disciple and an important help in Jesus’ burial.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, I do not know you fully.
- My natural powers cannot comprehend you.
- I am filled with fears, but I desire to come to You.
- Still my heart and reveal yourself.
- Plant your seeds of conversion within me.
- Claim my thoughts and feelings for yourself.
- As your presence grows, I will become bold.
- Some day, I will openly tell the world that I am Your disciple.
Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
- I will pay attention to God’s inner stirrings.
- I will grow in discipleship, even if it is hidden from others.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
The one who came only at night, later joined Jesus at His cross.