This Day in History: 0000-08-20

August 20 – John 2:23 – 3:2 & 19-21

Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in Him.
But Jesus didn’t trust them, because He knew all about people.
No one needed to tell Him about human nature, for He knew what was in each person’s heart.

There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee.
After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent You to teach us.
Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with You.

And the judgement is based on this fact:
God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.
All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.
But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.

The applications from the story of Jesus and Nicodemus are many. It’s the passage where we get the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16. What’s jumping out at me today, though, is most evident when we highlight the three sections above from the whole passage.

The Bible tells us Jesus knew all about people, and He didn’t trust them. It tells us He knew what was in each person’s heart. It also tells us that when Nicodemus came to talk to Jesus, he did it under the cover of darkness. He didn’t have the courage to go to Jesus with his questions when people could see. So, I find it interesting that Jesus, who could see Nicodemus’s heart, chose to focus on two things in the conversation: the importance of being born again, (which would have been offensive to a Pharisee who took great pride in his heritage) and the need to come into the light (as they stood there literally in the dark).

I imagine the entire conversation made Nicodemus wildly uncomfortable, and probably a little mad!

But let’s step back from this story and examine our own hearts. Doesn’t the pride of Nicodemus hit sort of close to home? I can admit that when I recognize sin in my life and know I need to come to Jesus I’m not super eager to do it in front of the whole world. I’d prefer the cover of darkness.

I don’t want my sins to be exposed. At all. Too often I choose to remain veiled when I know God is calling me to step out into His brilliance.

The thing is, I’m a child of God. His dearly loved daughter. I don’t need to be afraid of the light. That fear is a liar!

Friends, none of us need to allow those lies to keep us buried in darkness. Our Savior is gently calling us out from the shadows. Will we have the courage to respond? Will we step into the radiance of Jesus’s presence and be exposed for who we are? Will we accept the new identity He’s given us and no longer be defined by the sins that have kept us shrouded?

Come on, let’s go!