John 3:1, “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:”
When reading the Bible we should consider every word to be important. Paul teaches us in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “All scripture” came from the Lord. In John 21:25 we read the “world itself could not contain the books that should be written” concerning the things that Jesus did, but we do have these which are written and preserved, making them very important for us to read, study and meditate upon. Just imagine how many people Jesus conversed with while walking as God/perfect man among them. Yet, not all and everyone He spoke to is recorded. Now if what we have (in the Bible) is only a portion of who the Lord actually spoke to, doesn’t it make sense that even the names of those He spoke to would have a significant spiritual lesson? In the verse previously cited, we read about a man named Nicodemus. When we compare John chapter 3, 7 and 19 we easily can see a child of God growing in his learning and devotion. By just considering his name and its definition, we can see something which will be required of a child of grace to grow in knowledge and to walk closer to God.
The name Nicodemus is actually two words combined in one. Nico, which means to conquer or overcome; and Demus, which means popular or popularity. By combining the two we learn that Nicodemus means to overcome the popular; or to conquer popularity. If I were to put this in my own words, it means to win the war against the ways of the world. Nicodemus, by comparing the three chapters in John where we read about him, did just that. The way of the Pharisees was not the path which Nicodemus decided to walk. He went contrary to their thoughts and ideas to be closer to Jesus Christ. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus commanded His disciples to do the same. Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to distruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” The “strait gate” and “narrow way” the Lord instructed His disciples to seek for and walk in is not one that leads to eternal life. By them being His disciples (Matt 5:1), we have enough evidence to know that they were already born-again children of God. The “strait gate” and “narrow way” would lead the child of grace to a quality of life, being in fellowship with their Lord and Savior. This path is not a popular path, as only “few there be that find it.” In order to enter into that way, and continue therein, a child of grace will need, as Nicodemus, to overcome temptations and the influence of the “many” who walk contrary to them.
So, the question to us is, dear child of grace, are we going to walk in the ways of this world (popular way), or are we going to walk in obedience to Jesus Christ our Savior? In Joshua 24:15 we find a verse of scripture that declares Joshua’s answer to the question, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Amen!