“3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “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.” (John 3:1-2)
Nicodemus makes his first appearance, he doesn’t show again until the end. He is one who has believed in the name of Jesus, but to whom Jesus has not yet entrusted himself. Nicodemus says one thing with his mouth and another with his actions. The disciples of Jesus follow him, and many are being baptized. Jesus is baptizing at this time, more on that later. But Nicodemus isn’t sure. He says he knows Jesus is from God, the Jews do, his friends do, but none of them are willing to admit it in daylight. Why? I’m sure they all had many reasons. But Nicodemus steals in under the cover of darkness. His actions say he is not as sure about what he ways as he claims to be. Yet Jesus doesn’t turn him away. He takes the time to talk to Nicodemus. We will see that it takes time, but it takes root. It doesn’t happen overnight.
The hard sale. I never like it. It conflicts with the gospel. It is one where the actions conflict with what is being said. It’s one reason I generally don’t like evangelism books. I love evangelism. We can take a lesson from Jesus here. He takes a person where he is at. He doesn’t chastise him for coming in the night. He listens to him, takes opportunity as it presents itself. Sometimes that takes a long time. Sometimes not so much. But when it is there, he is ready to answer the questions, and he doesn’t put on the hard sell. He answers calmly and trusts the gospel to do its work in its own time according to the will of the Spirit.