Monday, January 30, 2017

Day 15 – Jesus After Dark


Read:  John 3:1-21 & Jeremiah 29:11-13

Today we read of a religious leader who approached Jesus after dark. The timing of his visit underscores its controversial nature. For the Jews and many cultures of Jesus' day, anything undertaken at night would have been considered questionable.

Perhaps it was Jesus’ radical actions in the Temple that inspired the Pharisee named Nicodemus to come. It was certainly why he chose to do so at night. After all, Jesus had not made many friends among Nicodemus’s colleagues. Maybe Nicodemus had himself questioned the religious practices in the Temple, but was unwilling or unable to take the bold steps necessary to bring about reform. Whatever the case, we know by his words and the timing of his visit that Nic was earnestly searching for answers. Jesus, whom you’ll remember, “knew all people,” certainly knew the sincerity of Nicodemus’s heart. Whereas most of Jesus’ encounters with Pharisees and religious leaders are combative in nature, Jesus’ approach to Nicodemus is more instructional. This is because Jesus knew that Nicodemus was sincere and teachable.

God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, told the nation of Israel, “‘You will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:12-14a). God responds to those who earnestly seek Him. Nicodemus was searching for God with all his heart. The darkness did not prevent him from finding what he was looking for. After all, the Light of the World cannot be hidden by a little darkness.

What or whom are you earnestly seeking? If it is God, you can claim the promise of Jeremiah 29:13. It is okay to come to him in the darkness of doubts and fears. He will meet you there with the warm light of His love.

Light of the World,

I often come to You in the darkness of my sin and shame. Thank You for meeting me there and bringing Your light into my darkness. Thank You for understanding the sincerity of my heart and answering my call. Thank You that, like Nicodemus, I can find You if I am earnestly seeking. 


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