A Running Controversy – John 7:45-52

This has been going on from the beginning. Remember the 2nd chapter where Jesus ran off the money changers; he upset their applecart, and the “Jews” had it in for him thereafter. (The synoptics put that scene near the end of their gospels.) The “words of Jesus” seem more like theological statements than the kind of conversation we find in the other gospels.

We remember Nicodemus from the 3rd chapter “born again” discussion (that was a ‘theological statement’ I could surely relate to). Nic represents those who would follow Jesus, but they’re on a materialistic mindset– like the majority of ‘Christians’ today! He was also a rich man, able to sit in the ‘seats of the mighty’.

Nic made a reasonable statement: shouldn’t we try this man before finding him guilty? This confounded the conspirators, nipped the conspiracy in the bud (temporarily), “And every man went unto his own house.”

We find Nic again with Joseph of Arimathaea asking for the Lord’s body. Here’s a quote from Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary: “In Nicodemus a noble candor and a simple love of truth shine out in the midst of hesitation and fear of man.”

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3 responses

  1. There is something so likeable about sweet ol’ Nic. Like you mention Larry, when Nicodemus visited Jesus at night in chapter 3, it seemed to change him. Perhaps we would call him a believer. Nicodemus risked his reputation and high position when he spoke up for Jesus, Yes? He was bold in his statement defending Jesus, albeit careful, yet the other Pharises became suspicious. I have not seen how Nic represents those who follow Jesus with a materialstic mindset – probably because I have not studied this as much as you have, Larry. However, I do see that when Nicodemus confronted the Pharises with their failure to keep their laws, he was speaking with a certain courage. The Pharises hypocritical motives were exposed by Nicodemus. And unfortunately, their pride interfered with their ability to reason (such a resonate dillema). Hence, the Pharises became obsessed with getting rid of Jesus to save face. What was good and right lost importance to them.

  2. Thanks, Meredith. Nic was a great believer! He stood up to the unanimous verdict of his tribe to defend the one who had taught him about rebirth.I didn’t mean to apply a “materialstic mindset” to the Nic of this chapter, but to the one in Chapter Three. Obviously he had grown since that time, maybe sort of come out of the closet.At the end he claimed the Lord’s body for burial.

  3. I think Larry may be referring to literalism when he talks about Nic being materialistic (since the material is different from the spiritual; it would be the same as wondering how one is literally born again). I certainly take the point that being too literal can mean one misses the spiritual point, which is demonstated in Chp. 3 when there is no literal meaning to being born again.

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