The Son of God among the Sons of Men Part 5: Jesus and Nicodemus -- By: Everett F. Harrison

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 103:409 (Jan 1946)
Article: The Son of God among the Sons of Men Part 5: Jesus and Nicodemus
Author: Everett F. Harrison


The Son of God among the Sons of Men
Part 5: Jesus and Nicodemus

Everett F. Harrison

V. Jesus and Nicodemus

The first group of disciples gathered around Jesus in a short time, as set forth in John 1, ripened for their call by the testimony of John the Baptist. A certain homogeneity belonged to them, for they were all Galileans, and for the most part were fishermen. But there would be specialization to the extent of disproportion if the Lord worked only among such men. One feels the fitness of the Savior’s gathering unto Himself individuals from many walks and ranks of society, for He is the Savior of the world. We accept the observation of the apostle Paul that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called, but we look for a sprinkling of such in the following of Jesus, and are not disappointed. Nicodemus was of this sort.

John introduces us to him as a ruler of the Jews. That means that he was a member of the Sanhedrin, that venerable body of chief priests, elders and scribes which governed Israel. If he took his duties seriously, he would be deeply interested in any teacher or movement within the nation which promised to exert a wide influence. Perhaps he had actually visited the Jordan country as a member of the delegation sent from Jerusalem to inspect the work of the Baptist. He must have heard, in that case, John’s intimation that the Messiah was about to appear. If by any chance he tarried another day, he could have heard the great words about the Lamb of God. Be that as it may, the report

of this preaching around the Jordan must have reached his ears when it was brought back to the Council. The tidings placed a heavy responsibility upon this leader of the people. There had been false Messianic movements before; this could be another. But it would not do to prejudge the case and be found in the opposition when the genuine Deliverer appeared.

For some time Nicodemus must have weighed the factors in the case as he understood them, desiring all the time some closer, more personal contact with this figure who was heralded as greater than John. His opportunity came when Jesus attended the passover feast at Jerusalem. But how disconcerting were the words and deeds of this man! Whatever Nicodemus may have felt in his own soul about the propriety of having sacrificial animals offered for sale in the temple precincts, with all the necessary appendages, it remained true that the Sanhedrin had sanctioned the practice. And behold, this stranger had dared to flaunt their authority. His words were equally revolutionary, for He talked about the destruction of the temple and of rearing it up again in thre...

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