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Family, Faith and Freedom Perspectives

Rare Bear: Nicodemus

By Rev. C.J. Barry Kentner

NICODEMUS

This Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrin, was a man who struggled with his faith. He is introduced to us in John’s Gospel, in Chapter 3.  He was a man who came to Jesus by night, and Bible scholars have used the analogy of the night meeting as an example of the spiritual darkness in which many of Jesus’s contemporaries lived…and also an example of their sincere but often unsuccessful efforts to understand his Gospel.

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How many Nicodemus’s are there in the world today?  Nicodemus’s who live in the Darkness of sin, and who have difficulty grasping the Gospel.  Or perhaps, they are afraid of accepting Christ because of what it might mean.

For most of us, the story of Nicodemus stops there. But reading on through John’s Gospel, we find that obviously, Jesus and His message made some impact on Nicodemus‘ life.

John Chapter 7 tells us that Jesus came to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles. Partway through the Feast, he began to teach in the Temple Courts. There was such an uproar, that the Temple Guard was sent to arrest Him, but they came back empty-handed.

To this point in time, there has been no indication of Nicodemus becoming a disciple of Christ, but he does defend him. Standing up before the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus asks boldly, “Does our law judge a man before it hears him,  and know what he is doing?” Now that took courage!

And again, in Chapter 19,  Nicodemus is mentioned. This time, at the Burial of Jesus, Nicodemus accompanies Joseph of Arimathea and brings with him about a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes. Together they embalm the body of Jesus and lay him out in the manner of the Jews.

Both of these men are possibly the first silent witnesses…secret disciples. Whether Nicodemus accepted the Salvation offered by Jesus or not, we don’t know. I believe he did. We know that his life intertwined with Jesus on more than one occasion.  How about you?

WORTHY OF THE WILDERNESS

It closes, dark, around you
And you feel it’s binding strength.
Depression!  Overpowering!
It runs the entire length
Of mind, soul, and body
Trapping you…in Wilderness
The other side of nice. 

But

There’s a force, that’s welling up
A power you can feel
The strength you need to fight it
God’s Holy Spirit is real.
It rises there, within you
As you call upon his name
And pulls you from the darkness
You’re the Victor of the Game
Yes, there are times and seasons
In which we must be shown
That to be worthy of the Wilderness
We need time, with God alone.



Barry was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1935 and schooled to Grade 10, but continued educational pursuits until age 65 when he graduated from Open Word Bible College. He started working for Spitzer and Mills advertising in 1952, then moved to the Broadcast arena where for 62 years he was News Director and Talk Show Host at several Canadian Radio Stations. He was one of 5 consultants who managed to lobby for Christian Radio in Canada, and in the last five years before retirement, he was News Director of Canadian Altar.Net News, a network of 25 Christian Radio Stations across Canada from Charlottetown PEI to Campbell River BC.
Barry Kentner is a semi-retired pastor.

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