The following is a chapter summary from the new book, Standing Near the Cross by Pastor Greg Neal. This book is excellent for personal Bible study, group studies like Sunday school, study for a discipleship program, or curriculum for college or Bible institute classes. You can learn more at Berean Publications.
Chapter Four – Nicodemus: Who Came to Jesus by Night
The word “Pharisee” has become synonymous with words like “hypocrite” and “deceiver.” The Pharisees were hated for their condescending actions and haughty words. They hated Jesus for the power He had that they would never have. However, few associate the man named Nicodemus with those arrogant, religious men. What was the difference? We know the Nicodemus from John 3 where he meets with Jesus in the secrecy of night to muddle out the questions in his mind. He was open-minded to this Man Jesus and His teachings that contradicted so much of what Nicodemus believed about the Law; he yearned to know more. Little did he know that his curiosity toward the Gospel would build the bridge to his actions surrounding the Crucifixion of Christ.
Learn from this study of Nicodemus’s life how the saving power of Jesus can transform the most unlikely, even those steeped in religion and its rituals. The Gospel is for every human: from poor to rich; from unreligious to devoutly religious; and illiterate to highly educated. Study how the change in Nicodemus’s life manifested into a new identity and a willing heart focused on Jesus through the stand he took at the trial of Christ and by his connection to Joseph of Arimathea. A quote from this chapter says it best: “Even the most unlikely can be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ!”
Pastor Neal, through his preaching and his counseling, displays the compassionate heart of a pastor, follows the true leading of the Holy Spirit, and expresses a fervent desire to see lost souls come to know Christ. It is his ultimate desire to see the greater Jacksonville area reached for the cause of Christ and for revival to come to Northeast Florida.