Discovery is the action of finding, learning, and unearthing information. When a specific topic peaks an interest, individuals often go through an exploratory phase. This initial process of discovery either quenches your thirst, fuels a greater passion or overwhelms souls with the amount of knowledge necessary to continue this pursuit. At the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, a Pharisee named Nicodemus requested a with meeting at night, likely afraid that his peers would make fun of him for seeking the advice from this controversial Rabbi.
Then Nicodemus, who came to Jesus before at night and was one of them, asked, 51 Does our Law convict a man without giving him a hearing and finding out what he has done? 52 They answered him, Are you too from Galilee? Search [the Scriptures yourself], and you will see that no prophet comes (will rise to prominence) from Galilee, John 7:50-52.
Apparently, the concept of becoming born again struck a nerve within Nicodemus, John 3:1-17. Then again, maybe Jesus’ comments on eternal life, John 3:16-17, might have sparked additional interest. While John does not highlight what persuaded Nicodemus to begin his spiritual process of discovery, two different updates are provided by this gospel author. While the chief priests and Pharisees sent guards to arrest Jesus, Nicodemus sticks up for Jesus by reminding his peers the Law requires a man to have a hearing before being convicted.
And Nicodemus also, who first had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, [weighing] about a hundred pounds. 40 So they took Jesus’ body and bound it in linen cloths with the spices (aromatics), as is the Jews’ customary way to prepare for burial.41 Now there was a garden in the place where He was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever [yet] been laid, John 19:39-41.
The repetition of his initial conversation with Jesus reminds readers of the progress that Nicodemus has made. Starting out as a curious religious leader, afraid of what other Pharisees might think, Nicodemus publicly defends Jesus and then comes back to pay respect following Jesus’ death. If you read between the lines of John’s gospel, Nicodemus’ process of discovery led to eternal life, Romans 10:9-10. When 11 of 12 disciples abandoned Jesus in the final hours of his life, Nicodemus was no longer ashamed or afraid of what others thought. May you fulfill a similar process of discovery by drawing near to God, 1 John 5:13.
by Jay Mankus