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The Pharisee (6 of 6)
Touched by Jesus
Tony R. Nester
Nicodemus had become attracted to Jesus. That in
itself wasn't unusual for many people were interested
But Nicodemus was a Pharisee. Pharisees were for the
most part hostile to Jesus because Jesus did not
support their interpretation of the Law of Moses.
Jesus offered forgiveness to people whom the
Pharisees believed should have been condemned. And
he associated with sinners whom the Pharisees
believed should be excluded from the company of
Nicodemus was a Pharisee. But not only a Pharisee.
John 3:1 tells us that he was "a leader of the Jews."
He was, in fact, a member of the Sanhedrin (see John
11:47) - the most powerful Jewish religious council.
We also have evidence which I'll mention in a moment
that Nicodemus was wealthy. Highly placed, wealthy,
and strict Pharisees constituted Jesus' greatest
He comes "by night" which might be a sign that
Nicodemus doesn't want his fellow Pharisees to know
of his interest in Jesus.
"Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come
from God; for no one can do these signs that you do
apart from the presence of God."
Jesus responds by telling Nicodemus that, "no one can
see the kingdom of God without being born from above."
Jesus has touched a nerve. We know this because
Nicodemus doesn't reject Jesus' words about being
born again as nonsense. Instead, he asks, "How can
these things be?" (verse 9). "How can anyone be born
after having grown old? Can one enter a second time
into the mother's womb?" (verse 4). What he is
asking is, "How can these things happen, and happen to
Members of the Sanhedrin were generally older men,
not younger ones. I suspect Nicodemus had grown
dissatisfied with his own experience of God. He
yearned for something more.
"Yes, I want to be born anew. I want a freshness to
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