When the topic of being born again arises among Christians, the name Nicodemus is usually mentioned. He comes up in the Bible as the man who asked Jesus Christ what he meant by being born again since it seemed like an impossible phenomenon. After he had received a satisfactory answer from Jesus Christ, the Bible does not give details of the decision he made afterward. This has made some Christians ask the question, did Nicodemus follow Jesus?
The Bible implies that Nicodemus followed Jesus after being given a satisfactory answer about being born again. He ended up protesting the plot to arrest Jesus Christ and offered a good amount of spices used to anoint the body of Jesus Christ. He also took part in the preparation and anointing of the body of Jesus Christ in preparation for burial. This implies that he must have embraced Jesus and his teachings to do all these acts of respect.
Christians can unanimously agree that the question Nicodemus asked Jesus Christ was paramount in revealing an important rite that no Christian should miss, being born again. Read this article to the end to find out what the Gospel of John says about Nicodemus and what Jesus taught Nicodemus. We will also try to give insights into whether Nicodemus was genuinely seeking God and if he was saved in the end.
What does John say about Nicodemus?
The gospel of john names Nicodemus as a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews who visited Jesus one night. John 3:1 “Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.” The meeting is suggested to have taken place at the house of John, the disciple of Jesus Christ. By visiting at night, some scholars have implied that it was because he was a member of the Sanhedrin and did not want to offend his fellow ruling class and the hostile Jews who were strongly against the teachings of Jesus.
Nicodemus believed that Jesus Christ had come for a good course and had the spirit of God in him, but he had not yet proclaimed himself as a true believer and follower of Jesus Christ. He was still full of crucial unanswered questions and had incomplete faith that forced him to visit Christ at such an hour. Jesus gave him an audience, and Nicodemus was able to put his question forward.
The humble Jesus Christ was relatively straightforward in his answer as he told Nicodemus that he had to be born again for one to enter the kingdom of God. John 3:3. Nicodemus translated the answer Jesus Christ gave him literally and was bewildered at the thought of an adult going back to their mother’s womb to be born again. John 3:4 “How can someone be born again when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
As he always did with all the other curious questions he had faced, Jesus Christ answered him by repeating the same statement about being born again. John 3:5 “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the spirit. “He was, however, more than generous to get deeper into the answer to ensure that Nicodemus and the other perplexed listeners understood the doctrine of being born again. Jesus explained that the rebirth was not of the body but of the soul; thus, he was talking about inward and not outward rebirth. John 3:6 “Flesh gives birth to Flesh, but the spirit. Gives birth to spirit.”
Jesus Christ further explained that the feeling of being born again could only be explained by those who have done so. He compared the feeling of the new spirit with the analogy that nobody knows where the wind comes from and where it goes, but everybody who comes under its influence can confess how they have felt. John 3:8 “The Wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So is with everyone born of the spirit.” Thus he said that only those born again could judge the reality of the presence of the spirit.
Despite Jesus Christ trying to bring forward the clarification, Nicodemus was still unenlightened, and this made Jesus rebuke his blindness and specifically since he was one of the proclaimed spiritual teachers. John 3:10 “You are am Israel teacher. “Said, Jesus. “And you do not understand these things?” Jesus Christ then asked Nicodemus how he expected to understand the deep mysteries of God, like sending his son Jesus Christ to the world when he could not believe in being born again. John 3:12
John further mentions Nicodemus when he stood up to defend Jesus against the accusations of the Sanhedrin. Jesus had enraged the Sanhedrin at the Feast of the Tabernacles by claiming that he was the “living water. “John 7:37-38 “On the last day of the festivals, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me? As Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” The Sanhedrin plotted against Jesus Christ, but Nicodemus tried to defend him from a Jewish point of law. John 7:50-52 “Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him find out what he has been doing?” This could show that despite his talk with Jesus not showing an instant effect on Nicodemus, it finally changed something in him that had him defending Christ and overlooking his reputation as a leader.
John finally mentions Nicodemus alongside Joseph of Arimathea, a secret disciple of Jesus. After the death of Jesus Christ, Nicodemus, together with Joseph of Arimathea, took the body of Jesus. Nicodemus provided myrrh and aloe spices worth around seventy pounds and used them for embalming the body of Christ in readiness for his burial. Together, the two prepared the body of Jesus according to Jewish customs by wrapping it with spices in strips of linen and laying it in a tomb. John 19:39-42 “He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy pounds.”
Apocryphal works and the gospel of Nicodemus have implied that Nicodemus was banished from Jerusalem and deprived of his office by hostile Jews after giving evidence in favor of Christ in front of Pilate. Peter and John reportedly baptized him. He is said to have died, and his remains were found in the same grave as those of Stephen and Gamaliel.
What did Jesus teach Nicodemus?
Jesus Christ taught Nicodemus one of the most important lessons in Christianity for anybody who dreams of seeing the kingdom of God, an important decision of being born again must be made. John 3:3 “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they’re born again.” As explained by Christ, being born again meant that Nicodemus was supposed to experience a rebirth of the soul by accepting and believing in Jesus Christ in his heart. This would warrant him the promise of having everlasting life as stated in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Was Nicodemus genuinely seeking God?
Nicodemus’ behavior suggests that he was genuinely seeking God from when he asked Jesus Christ the crucial question to when he experienced an unexplainable wave of change. He started as a skeptical questioner, and the effect of the answer Jesus gave him was not felt instantly. However, the change that Jesus talked about was seen in Nicodemus in two crucial ways. Firstly, he defended Jesus when he was expected to be on the side of the Sanhedrin, some of the biggest tormentors of Jesus.
He also took a big chunk of his wealth and purchased spices used to embalm the body of Jesus Christ in preparation for his burial. He played a crucial role in ensuring that the body of Christ was well preserved at the tomb.
These two instances suggest that Nicodemus experienced a wave of change after meeting Jesus Christ. This change is evident from his actions after receiving the answers to his queries from Christ. This change also proves that Nicodemus was genuinely seeking God, and he finally found Him. The result of finding God was experiencing a big change of heart and following a different way from the one he had followed earlier.
Was Nicodemus saved in the end?
From the happenings after Nicodemus had contact with Christ, we can conclude that Nicodemus might have been saved in the end and even became a disciple of Jesus Christ. According to the teachings of Christ, being saved entailed accepting Christ and a complete change of lifestyle. Nicodemus changed as soon as he encountered Christ and switched from the side of the oppressors to the defenders of Christ.
This was proof that he had received the new spirit and was done with his old ways. Using his money to purchase the expensive spices used on Jesus should be enough proof that Nicodemus had finally accepted the way of Christ and had been saved.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.