Nicodemus’ progression of faith (John 3:1-21) encourages me because not only does he ask Jesus tough questions, but Jesus gives him the deep answers a man like Nicodemus needed. Interesting, too, that the most well-known Bible verse (John 3:16) was spoken to Nicodemus.
In a lot of ways, Nicodemus had the most to lose/give up of all the men in the Gospels. At least, in the eyes of men. He was affluent. He had status. He was a learned religious leader.
Nicodemus is relatable for many people today struggling with their faith. Money, position, and respect keep them from selling out fully to the Gospel truth that calls them, the same struggle we see within Nicodemus.
Nicodemus can also be an inspiration for these same people because even though he was a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin, he advocates for Jesus (John 7:45-52). Later, he takes his faith a step further by burying Jesus, along with Joseph of Arimathea who is also a member of the Sanhedrin. This was a somewhat public declaration in that they needed the Roman governor Pilate’s permission to take down and bury Jesus.
We know that Joseph was a secret follower of Jesus, and Nicodemus’ words and actions seem to indicate he was as well. Both are inspiring in that they pushed through their culture and their peers to do what they could for Jesus. As a result, they were part of fulfilling prophecy (Isaiah 53:9).
As I imagine Nicodemus’ struggle and his progression of faith, I am encouraged and inspired because I, too, struggle in progressing with my faith. I, too, worry too much about what my peers think and about what I might have to give up to follow Jesus.
Nicodemus’ example helps me to continue making progress toward perfection. It encourages me to keep asking God tough questions, and it makes me more determined to be brave to live for him in my actions regardless of what others say or do.