Today's Reading: John 7:40-53 & Psalm 82
Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?” John 7:50-51
A good year before Judas kissed Jesus to betray Him, the Temple leaders sent guards to spy on Jesus. They wanted to catch Him saying something wrong and then bring Him before their court to stand trial. But the guards, impressed with Jesus’ message, chose not to arrest Him. “What?” they sneered. “Are you so uneducated in theology that you’re fooled by this Man?”
Those Temple leaders didn’t know that one of their own had already had an encounter with Jesus. Nicodemus had gone to Jesus … by night, secretly. He believed what Jesus was saying, even believed in Jesus. He just didn’t want to tell anybody. So now he’s got to say something … but what?
Nicodemus rises to his feet. Is he rising to defend Jesus? Maybe. Come on, Nicodemus! Plead the cause! Speak up for Him! “Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?” (verse 51). Nicodemus gets only a sarcastic question in return: “Are you from Galilee, too?” (verse 52). Now he has to choose—either he stands with Jesus and bears witness to Him, or he stands with the Temple leaders. He backs down.
The scene has not changed. There is still a crying need for an attorney for the defense—a courageous man … woman … teen … child … who by word, by action, and by lifestyle stands up and says, “I have heard Him. I believe in Him. Jesus is my Savior.”
Father in heaven, whose mercy never fails, let our witness ring with clarity and confidence, our words proclaiming the Good News in its truth and purity to the glory of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, through whom we pray. Amen.
In your daily life, in what ways do you come to His defense?
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