Sunday, September 4, 2022

More Than Just a Rabbi

By David R. Ferguson


    In John 3, we have recorded the event of Nicodemus, “a ruler of the Jews” (John 3:1), coming to visit Jesus “by night” (John 3:2). Nicodemus treats Jesus respectfully, addressing Him as “Rabbi” (John 3:2), which is quite an honorific given to a Man Who had not attended any of the prestigious rabbinical schools which were operating at that time. Nicodemus also states, “We know that You are a teacher Who has come from God. For no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2). This is a very astute (and accurate, I might add) observation Nicodemus makes.

    Just whom the “we” are who rightly believed that Jesus was a Man Who had been sent by God we don’t know for sure, but an educated guess would seem to indicate that at least Joseph of Arimathea would be in this group, for John tells us in John 19:38, “Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus,” and Pilate granted him this request. John then tells us that Nicodemus was also there with Joseph, and it was Nicodemus who purchased the 75-pound mixture of myrrh and aloes to anoint the body of Jesus as they prepared it for burial (John 19:39) in the tomb which belonged to Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:60).

    Nicodemus was a seeker. He sought truth from Jesus, and Jesus gave it to him, hitting Nicodemus right between the eyes by proclaiming that for one to obtain eternal life and “see the Kingdom of God,” one must be “born again” (John 3:3). Jesus speaks to Nicodemus prophetically of Jesus’ eventual crucifixion, saying to Nicodemus, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15). Although Nicodemus knew that Jesus was a “Rabbi,” a “teacher Who has come from God” (John 3:2), Jesus let him know He was much more than that. He was also the “only begotten Son” (John 3:16) sent by the Father to save, not condemn, the world (John 3:17).

    What about you? Are YOU a truth seeker, such as Nicodemus was? Jesus can always stand up to the harshest of scrutiny. He can always be trusted. We can know these facts because Jesus tells us in John 14:6, ““I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

    Yes, our Lord and Savior can be trusted. Put your trust in Him, and most importantly, put your LIFE in His hands! Only Jesus has the power to grant us eternal life!
- David R. Ferguson preaches for the Mentor Church of Christ in Mentor, OH.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: or

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