Nicodemus: From timid to courageous


J.C. Ryle comments on John 19:38-42-

The case of Nicodemus teaches that lesson very plainly. The only man who dared to help Joseph in his holy work of burying our Lord, was one who at first “came to Jesus by night,” and was nothing better than an ignorant inquirer after truth. At a later period in our Lord’s ministry we find this same Nicodemus coming forward with somewhat more boldness, and raising in the Council of the Pharisees the question, “Does our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he does?” (John 7:51.) Finally, we see him in the passage before us, ministering to our Lord’s dead body, and not ashamed to take an active part in giving to the despised Nazarene an honorable burial. How great the contrast between the man who timidly crept into the Lord’s lodging to ask a question, and the man who brought a hundred pounds weight of myrrh and aloes to anoint His dead body! Yet it was the same Nicodemus. How great may be a man’s growth in grace, and faith, and knowledge, and courage, in the short space of three years.

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