What Jesus Did! 'Slow Search for Truth' — John 7:50-51

Thursday, June 5, 2014

But Nicodemus was there in that group. Nicodemus was the one that had gone to see Jesus before. Nicodemus said, "Our law will not let us judge a person without hearing him. We cannot judge him until we know what he has done."
— John 7:50-51
Illustration of John 7:50-51 — "Our law will not let us judge a person without hearing him. We cannot judge him until we know what he has done."

Key Thought

One of my favorite stories in the Gospel of John is the story of Nicodemus. This wonderful seeker of truth came to Jesus at night because he saw in Jesus something of heaven. However, it wasn't easy for him to come to Jesus all at once. God kept working on his seeking heart leading him closer to Jesus through the events and circumstances of both Jesus' life and Nicodemus' role as a religious leader. Eventually, the events of the Cross captured Nicodemus' heart just as Jesus said they would. Even here, in a hostile setting, his search for truth and love of integrity called Nicodemus to stand up for Jesus. For me, Nicodemus is the great reminder not to give up hope on those around me who have not yet become Christians, but who keep having Jesus tug at their heart. Let's not give up on these precious people in our lives, but work and pray for them to come to see Jesus in light of the Cross!

Today's Prayer

Father, please be with the folks in my life who are good-hearted and genuine, but who haven't responded yet to the call of Jesus. Help me as I try to make my life a consistent and helpful witness to Jesus and his transforming power. Guide my words and give me wisdom for the proper timing to know when to talk with them about Jesus. Most of all, please be at work in their lives just as you were in the life of Nicodemus and bring them safely into your Kingdom. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The last day of the festival came. It was the most important day. On that day Jesus stood and said with a loud voice, "If a person is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. If a person believes in me, rivers of living water will flow out from his heart. That is what the Scriptures say." Jesus was talking about the {Holy} Spirit. The Spirit had not yet been given to people, because Jesus had not yet {died and} been raised to glory. But later, those people that believed in Jesus would receive the Spirit. The people heard these things that Jesus said. Some of the people said, "This man really is the Prophet. " Other people said, "He is the Christ. " Other people said, "The Christ will not come from Galilee. The Scriptures say that the Christ will come from the family of David. And the Scriptures say that the Christ will come from Bethlehem, the town where David lived." So the people did not agree with each other about Jesus. Some of the people wanted to arrest Jesus. But no person tried to do this. The temple police went back to the leading priests and the Pharisees. The priests and the Pharisees asked, "Why did you not bring Jesus?" The temple police answered, "The things he says are greater than the words of any person we've ever heard!" The Pharisees answered, "So Jesus has fooled you too! Have any of the leaders believed in Jesus? No! Have any of us Pharisees believed in him? No! But those people {out there} know nothing about the law. They are under God's curse!" But Nicodemus was there in that group. Nicodemus was the one that had gone to see Jesus before. Nicodemus said, "Our law will not let us judge a person without hearing him. We cannot judge him until we know what he has done." The Jewish leaders answered, "Are you from Galilee too? Study the Scriptures. You will learn that no prophet comes from Galilee." [The oldest and best Greek copies of John do not have verses 7:53-8:11]

John 7:37-52

Related Scripture Readings

There was a man named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was one of the Pharisees. He was an important Jewish leader. One night Nicodemus came to Jesus. Nicodemus said, "Teacher, we know that you are a teacher sent from God. No person can do these miracles that you do without God's help." Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born again. If a person is not born again, then that person cannot be in God's kingdom." "Moses lifted up the snake in the desert. It is the same with the Son of Man. The Son of Man must be lifted up too. Then every person that believes in the Son of Man can have life forever." Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that every person that believes in him would not be lost, but have life forever. God sent his Son into the world. God did not send his Son to judge the world guilty. God sent his Son so that the world could be saved through his Son.

John 3:1-3, 14-17

Later, a man named Joseph from Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. (Joseph was a follower of Jesus. But he did not tell people, because he was afraid of the Jewish leaders.) Pilate said that Joseph could take the body of Jesus. So Joseph came and took Jesus' body away. Nicodemus went with Joseph. Nicodemus was the man who had come to Jesus before and talked to him at night. Nicodemus brought about 100 pounds of spices. This was a mixture of myrrh and aloes. These two men took Jesus' body. They wrapped it in pieces of linen cloth with the spices. (This is how the Jews bury people.) In the place where Jesus was killed on the cross, there was a garden. In the garden there was a new tomb. No person had ever been buried there before. The men put Jesus in that tomb because it was near, and the Jews were preparing to start their Sabbath day.

John 19:38-42

The teaching about the cross seems foolish to those people that are lost. But to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.