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Speaking Up

Where are your questions about Jesus leading you?

Have you ever been in a position you didn’t want to talk so you avoided eye contact? Maybe it was in a classroom? You avoided eye contact with the teacher because the last thing you wanted was for them to call on you and then you’d have to answer in front of everyone. Or have you ever been eating with a large group and they all start sharing their opinion about a topic and you realize you’re the only one that doesn’t see things the same way. You know speaking up and sharing your thoughts would be uncomfortable and could lead to a really big argument. Dinner and an argument were not on the menu, but that’s what would be served if you opened your mouth for anything other than food. If I keep my eyes on my meal then maybe no one will ask for my opinion.

Please take time to read the passage, John 7:25-52 or the entire chapter. I’d like to focus my attention on the end of this section and the conversation that took place.

John 7:44-52
Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?” “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied. “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”

Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”

They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”

Wow! When it came to being a Pharisee Nicodemus was outnumbered. And he knew it. Yet he still spoke up. Going to visit Jesus in the cover of darkness may not appear to be the bravest act, but speaking up here took tremendous amounts of courage.   And his courage was met with belittlement from his peers. But it didn’t derail his pursuit of Jesus. At the end of the Gospel of John, we see Nicodemus again in a public way embracing Jesus as he helps prepare His body for burial.

As I read through John chapter 7 there are a lot of people who are confused and questioning whom Jesus is as a good man, deceiver, prophet or the Messiah. When I look at Nicodemus I see someone who had questions, was brave enough to ask them and as he grew in his understanding of who Jesus was he was willing to act on his beliefs. Where are your questions about Jesus leading you?

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