Nick at Nite
05 July 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 3:1-2 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
1 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.” (John 3:1–2 NLT)
Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish ruling council. He was a teacher of religion, but he was also searching, spiritually hungry and thirsty, and teachable. Nicodemus spoke up to the other leading priests in defense of Jesus when they tried to arrest him (John 7:50-51). Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were the two men who claimed the body of Jesus after the crucifixion and lovingly cared for and buried Jesus’ body in Joseph’s new tomb (John 19:38-42).
What does a disciple of Jesus look like? Disciple means follower or learner or apprentice. We mostly focus on the twelve disciples Jesus called to be apostles. It’s easy to forget that Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, who stayed at home in the village of Bethany were disciples, too. And that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus the Pharisee were secret disciples of Jesus. There were disciples who followed Jesus from town to town during his ministry. There were disciples who stayed home and worked at their jobs and crafts and spent time with Jesus when he was in their region. There were people who Jesus healed and helped and said, “Go home and tell your friends and family what the Lord has done for you!”
What does a disciple of Jesus look like today? Certainly not like someone who is walking the dusty trails and roads of first century Palestine, camping out overnight with Jesus, and then doing crowd control and loaves and fishes feeding of the multitudes. Some of his disciples did that then, because that’s what Jesus was doing then. Now he’s a resurrected Lord who has sent his Holy Spirit to guide, fill, and empower his disciples all over the planet. Disciples are still followers, learners, and apprentices. Disciples still become apostles who not only learn and grow, but go and tell the message themselves. Disciples are also disciple makers. Disciples run businesses, work their jobs, take care of the kids, teach in schools, work for the electric company, stock supermarket shelves, drive trucks, and some even work at churches!
Father, Thanks for the story about Nick at Nite. Help us not to be so narrow in our idea of who and what a disciple is. Thanks for disciples who look just like real people! Amen.