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The Scriptorium

Into the Light

Nicodemus shows the courage of faith.

The Gospel of John: John 7.37-52

Read and meditate on John 7.50-52.

Nicodemus, whom we met in John 3 in the night, now takes his first courageous steps into the light, as he boldly confronts his colleagues on behalf of Jesus.

                                        50Then Nicodemus to
them answered (he who came to Jesus in
the night), 51“Does our Law, brethren, judge a man
before it hears him, and discerns what he
is doing?” 52They replied, “Then you must be
from Galilee as well! Go search and see:
No prophet ever comes from Galilee!”
- John 7.35, 36

1.  Why do you think John brought Nicodemus back into the story at this point? What is he saying to us? Complete the following brief prayer: Lord, You have delivered me out of the kingdom of darkness into Your own Kingdom of light. Let me live as…

2.  Nicodemus is both bold and shrewd here, and we can learn from him about being better witnesses for the Lord. First, how does his boldness appear? How can Christians encourage one another to such boldness? Give me boldness, Lord, so that I fear no human being, but only…

3.  Nicodemus is shrewd, too, because he intended to hoist his colleagues on their own petard. They were all about the Law and them being the keepers of the Law, and about ignorant, accursed people not knowing the Law, and blah, blah, blah. How does Nicodemus turn this table over on top of them here? From Nicodemus’ example here, Lord, I think You want me to learn…

4.  The religious leaders are astonished that one of their own would stand forth to challenge them. Rather than answer Nicodemus’ question, what do they do? People can be really good at deflecting the truth, Lord, so help me to be just as good at…

5.  What do you suppose was the effect of this incident on Nicodemus (cf. Jn. 19.37, 38)? Why? Bring together your prayers from questions 1-4 into one prayer.

“He shows that they neither know the law nor do the law, for if the law commands to kill no one without first hearing him, and they before hearing were eager to do this, they were transgressors of the law. And because they said, ‘None of the rulers has believed on him,’ therefore the Evangelist informs us that Nicodemus was ‘one of them, to show that even rulers believed on him. For although they were not all that bold yet, still they were becoming attached to Christ.” John Chrysostom (344-407 AD)

Nicodemus shows us that the power of the Gospel to grip a person’s soul can sometimes come gradually. But even as it comes gradually, it comes truly. The more we sow the Gospel into our Personal Mission Field, the greater the likelihood that some of the people to whom God sends us each day will begin to come under its power. To whom will you sow something today?

Closing Prayer
The LORD reigns;
Let the earth rejoice;
Let the multitude of isles be glad!
Clouds and darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
A fire goes before Him,
And burns up His enemies round about.
His lightnings light the world;
The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare His righteousness,
And all the peoples see His glory.
Let all be put to shame who serve carved images,
Who boast of idols.
Worship Him, all you gods.
Zion hears and is glad,
And the daughters of Judah rejoice
Because of Your judgments, O LORD.
For You, LORD, are most high above all the earth;
You are exalted far above all gods.

Psalm 97.1-9

Psalm 97.1, 6, 9 (Darwall: Rejoice, the Lord is King!)
Rejoice, the Lord is King! O earth, lift up your voice;
Be glad, you islands, shout and sing: Rejoice! Rejoice!
    Beyond, above all gods and nations be exalted, God of love!

The heav’ns above declare His glorious righteousness;
And tribes and peoples everywhere His Name confess.
    Beyond, above all gods and nations be exalted, God of love!
T. M. Moore

Jesus is the Centerpiece of all Scripture, as He Himself explained (Jn. 5.39). But how can we learn to see Him there? How do the primary themes of Scripture revolve around Jesus? Our online course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, shows you how best to get at, get into, and get with the Word of God, so that you can grow more consistently in the Lord. It’s free, and you can study at your own pace. For more information or to register, click here.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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