Shaping Spiritual Leaders
Nicodemus was a Jewish leader seeking answers to some gnawing questions of life. He saw an opportunity in Jesus to find those answers. Nicodemus believed that Jesus was a teacher come from God; for no one could do the signs that Jesus was doing unless God was with him. However, it was risky for him to approach Jesus openly in full view of the public. His colleagues in the Sanhedrin (Jewish ruling council) were actually trying to get rid of Jesus as he was growing in popularity and people began to see him as the promised Messiah. For Nicodemus, his personal thirst for peace and purpose in life did not deter him from pursuing Jesus even if it meant knocking on Jesus’ door at night away from all public gaze. Jesus cut to the chase and pointed to Nicodemus that unless he is born again he could not enter the kingdom of God. He taught him what it meant to be born again. Paul explains it further that if anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation.
Was Nicodemus saved and transformed? Did he follow Jesus? Yes, evidently. Nicodemus went along with Joseph of Arimathea to Pontius Pilot and asked for the body of Jesus to embalm and put in a tomb (John 19:39-42). Even before that he stood up in the Sanhedrin and defended Jesus (John 7:51). Tradition says that he wrote an account of the Gospel of Jesus and he went to become a Bishop of a Church.
Can one meaningful conversation bring about such a transformation? Yes, but it required that Jesus live a life in God that could attract a Jewish leader like Nicodemus who was seeking answers. Jesus was ‘trained’ to perceive his core needs and address them crisply without any fanfare. He was able to hit the nail on the head and scratch where it itched.
Let us live a life in Christ so that people can see our Christlikeness. Let us be trained to become channels of God’s blessing so that the thirsty can seek the living waters; tasteless lives, the salt they lack; souls with darkness, the light they need. It may be one person that you will touch and transform at a time, but they could go on to become influential spiritual leaders transforming communities.