Two Men

There was a man named Nicodemas who was bothered by a question. Who was this rabbi? More to the point: what was his message? The others in his group dismissed this rabbi as an outsider. First, John was an annoyance. He insulted them when they went to see him. This one did the same.

They could not believe that they, the ones who were saving their religion, could be the bad guys. When the temple was defiled, who started the local synagogues? Who were the examples of piety? Who instructed the people and kept all the traditions?

Nicodemas had an idea. He would find out about the man. But he would visit him at night. This way, if his teaching was nothing, he would not be associated with him.

Nicodemas was always referred to by this. He came at night. Jesus talked to him at length but we know Nicodemas did not give up his position and join Jesus.

But there is another man. He was born blind. Even the disciples saw him as cursed by God although it was puzzling to them.

Remember how Jesus said, Blessed are the poor? This man was who he was talking about. He couldn’t work and make a living. He was reduced to begging. And he was ignored by everyone. He had no future. He couldn’t help his parents. He was exactly who Jesus meant when he said, Blessed are the poor in spirit. Hopeless.

Jesus gives him sight! But in a different way. The man must go a distance and wash the mud off. When he returns, Jesus is gone.

The man born blind is no longer blind. Those familiar with him do not know how to treat him. They were warned about this man, Jesus. They decide he must go to the religious authorities. That will keep them out of trouble.

He does go. Think of this man, ignored, forgotten, an object of scorn, a pitiable sight. Yet, Jesus spoke of the glory of God. Now, what? The leaders must regard his sight as real. But they demand he forget about this Jesus. He can’t. What did these men ever do for him? Why should he listen to them when he was given sight?

He rightly points out that no one has ever recovered from this blindness. And I’m supposed to disregard him? They call in his parents. What about it? They are afraid and refuse to acknowledge Jesus as the healer of their son.

Now this man who refuses to bow to them is kicked out. Really, he just had a chance to rejoin society and he lost it.

Jesus hears about this and finds him. How many people does Jesus look for until he finds them? Not many. Jesus looked for Phillip. “The following day, Jesus went into Galilee, and found Philip, and said to him, Follow me.”

But this man, Jesus responds to his treatment by the authorities. He finds him.

He asks him an important question. ” Do you believe on the Son of God?”

He answers, “Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?”

Jesus answers back, “You have seen him, it is he who is talking with you.”

The man answers, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped him.

These two men could not be more different. One is rich. The other poor. a beggar. One comes to Jesus by night. The second is given sight during the day. One keeps it to himself and does not speak up for Jesus. The other stands up for the man who gave him sight.

Which one does Jesus look for until he finds him? Which on does Jesus reveal himself to? The one who will not change his story about Jesus. Which are we more like? Do we make our stand with Jesus or do we just kind of believe like Nicodemas? Which one is with Jesus in heaven? Sure, Nicodemas helped bury Jesus. He spent a lot of money on the burial. Does that mean we will see Nicodemas in the kingdom?

No, it does not guarantee Nicodemas a place in the kingdom of God. But what about the man that gave up his chance to get back into polite society. This is the man that Jesus searched for until he found him. This the man to whom Jesus revealed his true identity. This is the man who said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe.”


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