45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”
46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied.
47 “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”
50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”
52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.” 53 Then they all went home,
Personal Reflection and Discussion
- What do you think impressed the temple guards about Jesus? What do you think they heard Jesus saying?
- What do you think Nicodemus was thinking and feeling as he spoke in defense of Jesus… as he was rebuffed by his colleagues?
- Nicodemus seems to be ‘growing where He is planted’ by staying true to His calling as a Pharisee but might have been seeing the corruption occurring with his religious peers. Dietrich Bonhoeffer believed the same was true for him when it came to His mission on earth. Bonhoeffer was a german pastor during the time of Nazi Germany and instead of fleeing his country, he decided to stay and preach the gospel. It ended up leading to his earthly death but He ran His race! How do we know when Christ is asking us to stay put during struggle, calling us to leave (as He did with Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah [Genesis 19]), or if he is asking US to make the choice? Consider reading Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship” sometime this year.
- What are ways we are being asked to ‘grow where planted’ today? At your work? In your Church? In your family?
- How does Nicodemus defend the faith? With what attitude? How is this comparable to Jesus’ ways (Luke 18:19, Mark 10:35-38, John 4:7, John 5:6)
- What do you think Nicodemus’s colleagues were thinking and feeling as they returned to their homes?
Jesus, earlier in scripture Nicodemus was skeptical of your love and your truth, now he is defending it. Thank you for allowing our skepticism to be defeated by your truth. Thank you for our belief, help us with our unbelief. Allow us to be a part of the transformation in the lives of those around us. Use us as instruments in order to tell your story, your truth, your love to be experienced near us but also in moments that have yet to take place. Thank you for the knowledge of you. Now, continue to implore Your wisdom as we journey together!
Greek Word of the Day
English Word: judge | Transliterated Word: krino (kree-no)
Properly to distinguish, decide, try, condemn, conclude, determine. To form and express a judgment or opinion as to any person or thing, more commonly unfavorable
Family Engagement Activity
Today is about transformation. Throughout John, we see the transformation of Nicodemus. Allow your kids to see that people change. Be sure to keep them mindful that Christ transforms people. Reconsider how to talk to others in front of your kids. Is your language around them conveying a message that people CAN transform? Do you talk about people as if they are either evil or good? Let them know that NO ONE is good, but through Christ, anyone can be righteous. Pray for the skeptics and those who do not know the LORD. As for the extra activities, here are a couple of ideas that can teach transformation.
- Make food and talk about how the ingredients change shape and can even get to the point where they no longer are independently identified, but are now a part of something bigger (eggs, vanilla, sugar, sauces). Things transform and can’t be separated from the bigger thing.
- Have you and your husband make a fun list of things you used to believe when you were kids (there was a monster in your closet, that a certain food made you sick though it didn’t, that you thought parenting would be easy (HA!), etc.) and see if they can guess who believed what.
- Maybe tell some of your favorites stories of what your kids used to believe.
Going Activities To Consider
Today, take some time to watch the first episode of the Chosen, a story that includes the journey of Nicodemus. Pay particular interest in the scene with his wife and the mirror. How does He seem to be transforming? Maybe even invite others to watch it with you or send them the link. LINK: https://studios.vidangel.com/the-chosen?fbclid=IwAR3PTcyL3Db5x_vATcirB_h9gIN9NuscKOp8lyNkMZ1jQwpdQCRAvbcYLjM
Now, write down 5 names of people who you feel to be skeptical or defiant to believe this Truth. Daily pray for these people.
If there are people you know that have a hard time believing that people can be transformed, tell the story of Nicodemus.
Here is some very cool information about how Jesus allowed others to think rather than just telling them the truth and moving on. https://www.teloscollective.com/engaging-through-asking-5-ways-jesus-asked-questions/