At Nicodemus’ challenge, the unbelieving Pharisees replied: “Surely you are not also from
By this stage of proceedings the Pharisees had cooked up a rage against the man who was about to become the Messiah—the man, Jesus of Nazareth: God incarnate.
Unfortunately for the Pharisees they were right about the wrong things. The Pharisees looked down on Galileans, but even worse, at this stage—well into the earthly ministry of Jesus—they were losing spiritual control by the day. Indeed, in any event several other prophets—for instance, Jonah, Hosea and Nahum, at least—had come from
The fact that Jesus was born in
So, for experts of the Law and of the history of
Nicodemus – A Pharisee of Light
This instance of Nicodemus putting a straightforward question before his fellow Pharisees is the second of three that the fourth gospel paints in a positive light.
The first involved Nicodemus going to Jesus in a disposition of humility, seeking to learn about the Kingdom (John 3:1-15). The third involved Nicodemus honouring Jesus’ burial with the provision of 75 pounds of spices (John 19:38-42).
This Pharisee demonstrated the wisdom of insight, the ability to discern truth, and the courage to question authority and commit resources toward honouring a ‘prophet’ he no doubt esteemed as more than a prophet.
From one lot of Pharisees to a completely different Pharisee we can learn a lot about ignorance and arrogance and humility and wisdom; just from contrasting them.
A Ministry on the Rise
For a prophet allegedly from
This Prophet from
Jesus’ ministry did not stop, or even halt, at his death. This Prophet became also an everlasting Priest and the King of all ages. The Ministry of Jesus continues on through the Holy Spirit. And this ministry will not be stopped at arrogant intercessions of Pharisaic individuals.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.
General Reference: Colin G. Kruse, The Gospel According To John: An Introduction and Commentary – Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (