It didn’t end there…

13 Dec

I’m taking a break from my Christmas themed posts to share with you something that blessed my heart as I prepared my Sunday School lesson. I am finding more and more that when I am in the classroom, though I am the teacher, I am being taught in incredible ways. But then again we cannot teach what we haven’t been taught first ourselves right?

John chapter 3 is where we find this scene unfolding. Night has fallen, but this Jewish ruler hasn’t yet retired to his home. In fact, he is making his way to Jesus with a heart full of questions. It seems strange that this religious teacher, this prominent member of the Sanhedrin would be seeking answers from a carpenter’s son from Nazareth. After all shouldn’t a teacher of such things as he know his stuff?

Many of us know what follows. Jesus responds to Nicodemus by giving him the Gospel. (Can you imagine hearing the plan of Salvation from Salvation, Himself?) Jesus speaks what is probably the most famous verse in Scripture here in verse 16, and the account of this searching Pharisee ends in verse 21 with no evidence of his conversion. We do learn that he came agreeing with the fact that Jesus was “a teacher from God” and that Jesus’ miracles were evidence of that (vs.2), but this passage concludes without a belief with his heart.

Most often messages with this man as their theme end here, but I found something wonderful today that I’m not sure I ever knew before!

This is not the final time that Nicodemus is mentioned in Scripture, and when we see him something has changed! He’s mentioned briefly in John chapter 7, but we see a distinct difference in him when he appears after the crucifixion in chapter 19.

“And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight. Then they took the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.”

John 19:39-40

The same man who came with questions one night during Jesus’ ministry came this night with something different. Bearing spices this once doubting Pharisee lovingly anointed the body of His Lord for burial. I wonder if he could hear the words that Jesus spoke years before as he carefully covered His bruised body with myrrh and aloe. I wonder if tears of sorrow fell as He took care of The One who so lovingly offered everlasting life to him?

Scripture doesn’t tell us how he was feeling, but I believe that including Nicodemus in the account of Jesus’ burial is proof that the seeds planted grew into fruit of salvation. I am so blessed by the fact that it didn’t end in John 3:21! I am so thankful that even though Nicodemus didn’t respond that night, Jesus’ words did not return void! (Is. 55:11) Only God sees how important each word of witness is in the moments we speak them, but often we will see the fruit years later just as we saw in Nicodemus’ life! It encouraged me to continue planting even when it seems that the increase is absent!

I am also eternally grateful that the Lord didn’t stop speaking to my heart though I rejected Him for so long. I am thankful that He didn’t leave me in my sin but worked continually on my young heart so that my story didn’t end there! 🙂

“So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”

 1 Corinthians 3:7 

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One Response to “It didn’t end there…”

  1. Uncle Joe December 14, 2009 at 3:38 am #

    This story is a great reminder to us to never stop witnessing. It can be discouraging when we go a while without seeing results, but the results are not up to us. We are just to plant the seed and let God give the increase. Thanks for reminding us of this.

    Love you
    Uncle Joe

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