Jesus grabbed a handful of bamboo and twisted it
into a whip. … The religious leaders were not impressed by
John 3:16 "For God
so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have
The seventy-one Members of the Sanhedrin gathered in a
semicircle on their carpets on the floor in their meeting room
in the Temple. It was their job to decide the punishment of
those who had broken the strict Jewish laws. But today they
did not have their mind on judging the guilty. They were
enraged at what had happened in the temple, just this
"Who does He think He is? A virtual stranger coming in
here and throwing His weight around. How dare He!"
So, instead of judging the guilty, they began to plot
how to trip Jesus up and how to eventually bring Him before
the courts to condemn Him. They were not having their
"And to think, He said He was the Messiah. Ha! The
Messiah? No! When the Messiah comes He is going to set up His
Kingdom and judge all these wicked people who have us under
their thumbs—the Romans!"
And so the talk went on for the whole session. They
could not get their minds on their business, and off the rage
that the Temple incident had incurred.
But one of the members sat quietly by, not entering into
the conversation. He was impressed by this Man. He wanted to
speak up in His defence, but his tongue was tied. He could
well imagine what his fellow associates would say. He would be
debarred. He tried his best to swing the attention to the job
at hand, that of judging the offenders of the law. But the
session did not go well. Very little was accomplished that
Nicodemus would be glad when the gathering was over. He
wanted to get away by himself to think. He wanted to see this
Man, but how was he to get through the crowds without being
recognized? What would they, and his compatriots say if they
saw him--one of the leaders of the Law--talking with this Man?
No. He could not do it. For the rest of the day he was
miserable. His mind was on how he could get to see Jesus
without being detected.
That night Jesus had a
visitor. At the darkest part of the night Nicodemus crept up
to where he had observed Jesus to be staying. Looking around
to see that there was no one watching him, he knocked on the
door. The disciples, seeing a Pharisee on the doorstep, were
about to turn him away, but Jesus called to him to come in.
"Teacher," began Nicodemus. "I know that You are come from
God, for no one can do these things that You do unless God is
Jesus looked at the man. Here was a rare case, a Pharisee
who was a genuine seeker. He said to him: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the
kingdom of God."
Nicodemus looked puzzled. He had never heard this
philosophy before. "I don't know what you mean, 'Be born
again', he said. 'How can I, who am grown, be born? Can I
enter into my mother's womb and be born a second time?"
Jesus said to Him: "Most assuredly, I
say to you, unless one is born of the water and the Spirit, he
cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the
flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is
spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born
again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound
of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.
So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
Nicodemus sat spellbound, a quizzical look on his face.
Finally he spoke: "I don't understand. How can this be?"
Jesus looked at Nicodemus, yearning for him to understand.
He knew that he had a heart that was genuinely seeking for the
truth. He said to him: "Are you the
teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? … Most
assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify
what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness…If I
have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will
you believe if I tell you heavenly things? … No one has
ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is,
the Son of Man who is in heaven… And as Moses lifted up the
serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be
lifted up, … that whosever believes in Him should not perish
but have eternal life… For God so loved the world that He gave
His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not
perish but have everlasting life… For God did not send His Son
into the world to condemn the world, but that the world
through Him might be saved.
"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does
not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed
in the name of the only begotten Son of God…And this is the
condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men
loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were
evil…For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not
come into the light, lest his deeds should be exposed…But he
who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be
clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
When Jesus had done speaking, Nicodemus said nothing, but
he left the visit knowing in his heart that he was a believer.
He knew that he would no longer be able to keep his faith
secret. He would have to speak up, if ever there was occasion
to defend Jesus.
The officers answered, "We cannot do it. The multitude
would mob us. They are spellbound. There has never been a man
who speaks like this Man."
The Pharisees were outraged. "What! Are you also deceived?
Do you see any of the rulers of the Pharisees believing on
Him? You are listening to the crowd. They are all ignorant
people. They have been deceived by this Man. He is an
Nicodemus had listened in silence up to this point. But now
he spoke up. "Just a minute, my fellow Pharisees. Does our law
judge a man before he has had a hearing? Do we condemn Him
before we have heard His side of the story?"
Nicodemus' compatriots turned on him. "Huh! Don't tell us
you also are a believer in this Man from Galilee. Are you also
a Galilean? Have you ever heard of a prophet coming from
Galilee?" They turned away in disgust from Nicodemus. But just
wait! Eventually they would trip Jesus up. Eventually they
would "get" Him. They just knew they would. Nicodemus walked
away from his fellows, but he was not shaken in his newfound
belief. He would defend Jesus to the end. And he did.