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Most of the Jewish leaders arrogantly rejected Jesus’ teaching, but Nicodemus had a sincere desire to know the truth. He was a respected Pharisee and a member of the Jewish Council, or Sanhedrin (John 3:1; John 7:50), but he was also willing to admit that Jesus’ miracles showed that God was with him (John 3:2; cf. John 2:23-25).

At first Nicodemus had difficulty understanding Jesus’ figurative teaching concerning the new birth (John 3:3-10), but he did not dismiss the teaching. He showed courage in opposing the prejudice of his fellow councillors against Jesus, and suggested that at least they ought to give Jesus a fair hearing (John 7:48-52).

When the Sanhedrin finally condemned Jesus to crucifixion, Nicodemus and at least one other member disagreed with the decision. That man was Joseph of Arimathea. He and Nicodemus showed publicly that they were followers of Jesus by taking his body down from the cross and giving him an honourable burial (Luke 23:50-53; John 19:38-42).

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Nicodemus'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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