PRACTICING COURAGE IN THE WILDERNESS
Based on Living Compass “Practicing Courage with all your heart, soul, strength and mind”
“Courage: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”
The story of Nicodemus coming to talk to Jesus at night (John 3:1-17) is a familiar one. He had no doubt heard of Jesus and his teachings, and one night, he decides to seek Jesus out to speak with him face to face. Nicodemus comes under cover of darkness, most likely because he is trying to hide the visit. Afterall, he was a member of the Sanhedrin, Jewish leaders who were trying to shut down Jesus’ ministry and in the end are the ones who turn Jesus over to Rome.
But Nicodemus sees something special in Jesus. He wants to know more about Jesus’ understanding of God and so he comes to him with questions. Jesus tells Nicodemus that anyone who wants to experience the kingdom of God must be born again. This leads to a back-and-forth conversation in which Nicodemus learns that Jesus is speaking of a spiritual rebirth, a new way.
While Nicodemus did visit Jesus under the cover of darkness, we hear about him again after Jesus’ crucifixion. It is Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea who ask for Jesus body and the two men see that he is buried with dignity. Surely this is a courageous thing for him to do, given his position.
Nicodemus was a seeker, he had the courage to think about a new way, to move out of his comfort zone and grow in his faith.
Read the story of Nicodemus coming to talk with Jesus, found in John 3:1-17. What speaks to you in this story about courage? What do you think of the dictionary definition of courage? Is there anything from your life experience that speaks to you about strength to venture, to persevere, to withstand danger, fear or difficulty?