He came to Jesus by night… (v. 2).
Over my lifetime I have heard and preached my fair share of sermons based on John 3. Preachers tend to make a big deal out of the fact that Nicodemus chooses the evening for his first encounter with Jesus. Why did he come at night? Was he trying to hide his meeting from the community he served? Was he afraid of being ridiculed by his religious colleagues? Was he simply trying to avoid the crowds that always seem to gather around Jesus?
Important conversations can occur at night. When the night falls, we tend to let our guard down. Think about a couple’s pillow talk just before they say goodnight. Consider the questions a child asks as they’re being tucked into bed. My housemate and I watch the PBS NewsHour most evenings. Watching the news often leads us into deeper conversations about our concerns for our nation and world.
Perhaps Nicodemus chooses the cover of night because he is truly seeking. His conversation with Jesus is full of rich metaphor. All those who choose to believe will find the words Jesus speaks at night hard to hear. Being part of God’s Kingdom requires radical change, a complete overhaul of self. We must be born again. And we must be honest about our need to be transformed.
Where and when do you engage in a deep conversation with God?
God, we confess that we resist change. Help us to submit our lives to you daily so that, through your love and grace, we will be born anew. Amen.