When you read the Old and New Testaments together, you will find some companion verses. These Scriptures complement each other. Even though there are hundreds of years between the times of their writing, they state the same timeless truths.
Notice the words of the Psalmist and the Savior:
- Psalm 37:4: Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
- Matthew 6:33: Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Do you “delight” yourself in the Lord as much as you delight yourself in your children and grandchildren? Do you seek God’s kingdom and righteousness as much as you pursue your passions in life?
I think of these verses when I read the story of a woman in Matthew 15. She cried out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is possessed by a demon. Have mercy, Lord!”
This woman was persistent and kept on seeking and asking and knocking until she got the attention of Jesus and His disciples. This woman was daring, desperate, and determined in her quest to request divine intervention on behalf of her daughter.
Because of her faith, Jesus responded and blessed her with the desires of her heart. How daring and determined are you in your life of faith?
His name meant “victory of the people,” but Nicodemus was living a life of spiritual defeat that left him thirsting for something more. His religious zeal had left him parched and perched. The dryness of the religion he had practiced from the time of his birth had withered his soul, and the conundrum of messianic proportions left him sitting in a precarious position.
It was within the framework of this nodus that Nicodemus went under the cloak of darkness to find Jesus and said: “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
Even though Nicodemus could see the signs he was blind to his sins, so Jesus went straight to the heart of the matter: “I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Like many people today, Nicodemus thought he had lived a good live. After all, he was a Pharisee and even a member of the ruling council—the Sanhedrin. He was no religious malcontent, but he questioned the content of Jesus’ discourse.
If he followed Jesus what course would his life take? Would it would lead him away from Judaism and the prestige and prominence of his position? Was he ready to sacrifice everything that he had worked so hard to achieve?
Nicodemus decided to wander away to ponder and pray. I believe Nicodemus re-examined the Messianic prophecies and they validated the claims of Jesus.
When the third chapter of John comes to a close, Nicodemus is never head of again until Jesus is crucified. Then he came out of the darkness to identify with Jesus and to prepare the body of His Lord for burial.
Which stage of Nicodemus’ life best describes you? Is it the under-the-cloak-of-darkness Nicodemus, the closet-Christian Nicodemus, or is it the stand-up-and-stand-out for-Jesus Nicodemus?