Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to the childlike…” Luke: 10:21
Little children usually trust their parents completely. This trust is deep, so a child feels safe asking any question. The child does not know what the answer will be but believes Mom or Dad know all the answers. Eventually, of course, when parents cannot answer all their questions, children realize deep down that parents don’t know everything. They grow out of total trust and look for answers in other places. This is natural.
With God, though, it is different. God really does have all the answers. Instead of growing out of faith in God’s answers to our questions, we can grow into greater trust. But it is important that we still ask God from that childlike place, expecting answers and believing that God hears us and will answer us.
Nicodemus first came to Jesus at night perhaps fearful of being exposed to his fellow Pharisees as one interested in Jesus’ teachings. Maybe he felt it was his duty as a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, to find out more about Jesus. We really cannot be sure of his motives, but we know he heard Jesus say that a person must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God. Nicodemus, while a religious person, asked, as a child might, “How can a man be born again once he is old?” Jesus told him a person needed to be born again of water and the spirit. But Nicodemus asked again, seeking an answer, “How can such a thing happen?” Again, Jesus explained to Nicodemus about a new kind of birth in the Spirit.
Apparently, Nicodemus believed Jesus with a childlike trust. We witness this when the Sanhedrin wanted to condemn Jesus without a trial. Nicodemus stood before his colleagues and courageously said that, according to the law, a person needs to be heard before being judged. Again, after the Crucifixion, we see the faith of Nicodemus once again – even stronger. He provided myrrh and aloe in the amount of 75 lbs. to help Joseph of Arimathea with Jesus’ burial. Now, the massive amount of the embalming spices he brought shows how much Nicodemus respected Jesus. It was a regal amount, fit for a king.
Jesus had revealed the secret of being born again to Nicodemus because he dared to ask with childlike confidence. He trusted that Jesus knew the answers to his questions. He knew in faith what awaited him. St. Nicodemus reminds us that we do not need to be afraid to ask questions of Jesus because true seekers always have questions. He also reminds us that we can trust He does know the answers and will share those answers with us if we listen in a spirit of trust. That spirit is a childlike spirit.
St. Nicodemus is our third Ornament of Grace.
Observing the Beautiful Ornaments
What specific questions do you have about what Jesus teaches in the New Testament?
Have you ever been afraid to ask Jesus for answers to your questions? If so, why?