If you read John 3:1-8; too fast, you might miss a very subtle but important detail about Nicodemus and his seeking of Jesus: “He came to Jesus at night and said to him…”
Images of traveling by night conjure up secrecy and protection. Which did Nicodemus seek? Maybe it was both? He was clearly a man of deep conviction--“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God”—yet also a man with many questions. Perhaps the cover of night protected him from the scrutiny of others while he worked out his own understanding of this new-found faith.
This secret time with Jesus would produce great fruit in Nicodemus, as he would not only speak out in defense of Jesus to the Sanhedrin but also assist Joseph of Arimathea with Jesus’ body after the crucifixion. Jesus does not condemn his coming at night, but instead uses that opportunity to instruct him. Nicodemus is obviously moved by the teachings of Christ. Whether the coming at night was a great risk of persecution or a calculated move to preserve privacy, Nicodemus is a model of faith, and of seeking out the One he knew could provide the answers.
Jesus will meet you wherever you need to be in order to be open to the Good News. Do you need to meet him at night? He will be there waiting. Do you have questions? Ask; He will answer. No matter how confused you may be, Jesus has promised that if we allow ourselves to be born of Spirit, then we will see the Kingdom of God.
Although you may initially seek in the dark, be assured Jesus will always lead you into the light.
Read today’s gospel slowly. Do you understand what Jesus is teaching about the importance of being born of Spirit? Need more clarification? Don’t be afraid, like Nicodemus, to ask questions.
Dear Lord, sometimes I lack understanding of your teachings. There are times when I read your words, and I am so confused. It is difficult for me to ask for someone to explain it because I feel embarrassed. Please lead me through this darkness into your marvelous light. Allow my fortitude and courage in learning the faith bear great fruit as it did in Nicodemus.
**First appeared in As Morning Breaks eBook Devotional, and on Catholicmom.com, 2015.