Nicodemus type Faith

I wonder what it would have been like to live in that day of Christ's coming. I wonder if I would have been able to recognize the coming of the Messiah.

I read through the Psalms and I read of God as this majestic one who comes thundering down from the mountain top (Psalm 64) and I wonder if I would have been able to recognize the thunder of His small presence in a manger or his roaring presence among the forsaken and lost sheep. I wonder if I would have recognized the man that went tearing through the temple or touching the lepers and speaking to the prostitutes as God's son.

Would I have recognized him? Or would he have appeared so foreign to what I would have imagined him to be that I would have missed him? Would I have been a cautious spectator, unwilling to jump in with all of my being like the uninformed and theologically untrained nonreligious? Or would he have appeared so obviously to me as the one to come that I would be inviting all of my neighbors to join me in following him to see what would happen next?

I suspect that I would have probably been the most like Nicodemus, coming to Jesus late at night, sharing my critique, my analysis and observations, and listening and contemplating Jesus' philosophic and theological response (John 3). Then later after recognizing the profundity of Jesus' words and finding them personally pointed and challenging, standing up as the singular Pharisee responding to the rhetorical question of "Has any of the rulers of the Pharisees believed in him?" and asking the Pharisees to listen and truly contemplate Jesus' words (John 7).

I sure hope that I could have been like Nicodemus, using my religious training and my small wealth to give Jesus the proper burial (John 19) and by doing so expressing my faith in him. And I am quite grateful that God used the gospel writer John to share the story of Nicodemus, so that I might have hope that when Christ does come again, there is a chance that I will recognize him.*

Grace and peace to you
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I always thank God for you
because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
For in him you have been enriched in every way
--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge--
because our testimony about Christ
was confirmed in you.
Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift
as you eagerly wait
for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
He will keep you strong to the end,
so that you will be blameless
on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God, who has called you into fellowship
with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
is faithful.
- 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

*Yes, I know that as a person filled with the Holy Spirit and sealed with the promise from Christ, I will recognize Christ when he returns. But there is still something comforting in reading the story of and identifying with Nicodemus.


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