40 When some in the crowd heard these words, they said, “This man is truly the prophet.” 41 Others said, “He’s the Christ.” But others said, “The Christ can’t come from Galilee, can he? 42 Didn’t the scripture say that the Christ comes from David’s family and from Bethlehem, David’s village?” 43 So the crowd was divided over Jesus. 44 Some wanted to arrest him, but no one grabbed him. 45 The guards returned to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked, “Why didn’t you bring him?” 46 The guards answered, “No one has ever spoken the way he does.” 47 The Pharisees replied, “Have you too been deceived? 48 Have any of the leaders believed in him? Has any Pharisee? 49 No, only this crowd, which doesn’t know the Law. And they are under God’s curse!” 50 Nicodemus, who was one of them and had come to Jesus earlier, said, 51 “Our Law doesn’t judge someone without first hearing him and learning what he is doing, does it?” 52 They answered him, “You are not from Galilee too, are you? Look it up and you will see that the prophet doesn’t come from Galilee.” (John 7:40-52, CEB)
Fear is the ruler of our lives when we fight against something that we do not understand or will not understand because it will change our way of life.
I have a postcard for a seminar on my bulletin board that I have moved with me through the past 2 calls. It says, “Change isn’t just something you get from a vending machine.” If you are not changing, you are dying.
And in this reading we see the person who could be a model for change in a disciple of Jesus, Nicodemus. Nic comes to Jesus for the first time in John 3, where he comes at night so not to be seen, and he questions Jesus, and here is Nic’s second appearance in John, out in public at the high council defending Jesus. His final appearance is when he helps remove Jesus from the cross. He went from sneaking around to see Jesus to semi public defense, to open adoration. The fear in Nic has been knocked away by the love of God.
I think we should all live like Nic. Let love rule in your life so that the fear will be held at bay.