Nic paced the floor. His thoughts outpaced his ability to finish a sentence. Not that he was anxious, but he wondered, “Should I go or should I not?” The teacher intrigued him, made him think in a way his own training had not. Curiosity pushed him. Nic knew he would be ostracized if seen entering the teacher’s house. No one with any standing in town would be seen with this motley band of rag tags, especially someone of Nic’s importance. But he was curious and as the sun drifted toward the horizon, it occurred to him nighttime would be the best time to go.
Nightfall came. Nic decided to go alone. Implicating his confidants could jeopardize them. Besides, deep within, Nic thought he believed the teacher. Outwardly, he offered doubt. Going at night, in secret, would protect his image. He wanted more proof. Perhaps challenging this man would expose a weakness and Nic would be off the hook. Uncertainty and timidity plagued his thoughts as he whispered his way along the street, turning here and there, ducking down one alley and the next, taking an indirect route as not to be detected. Nic began to hear, then feel a wind blow. He did not know from where it came or where it was going. The night calm dissipated.
HIs senses heightened, Nic could hear each step crackle beneath his feet and he felt the grains of sand wave from heel to toe. Rounding the corner, he approached the teacher’s house and entered. The two men exchanged greetings and Nicodemus began.
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.
The teacher answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus knew he had been caught and challenged. Pausing, thinking about his response, he read Jesus’ look as if to suggest what the teacher was thinking while Jesus raised both arms and paused, both communicating in silent understanding.
Then Jesus obliged Nicodemus, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?”
At this point, Nicodemus’ timidity won the moment. He had come to learn and thought better of speaking. Besides, listening to Jesus, he had the answer to his question. This teacher was who he said he was, but only privately could Nicodemus admit it to himself. He had come at night for a reason. In the night, he would return home.
Jesus, knowing Nicodemus did not receive His witness, asked him, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”
As Jesus spoke, Nicodemus thought to himself. I know He is the Christ. But if I rise in the morning and come to the light and tell everyone what I believe, I will lose all standing and importance.
Who will come to the light? Those who have ears.