Nicodemus, detail, Descent from the Cross, Coecke van Aelst, c.1535
Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night so that no one will see him, but perhaps in a state of intellectual or emotional darkness as well. Cautious, concrete, literal-minded, entrenched in his beliefs and practices, Nicodemus is genuinely curious and humble in light of Jesus' signs. Despite the frustrating conversation in today's Gospel, Nicodemus later stands up for Jesus against the Pharisees (7:50-52), and, with Joseph of Arimathea, receives and buries the body of Jesus after the crucifixion.
Nicodemus is the first of the intimate portraits of followers of Jesus in John's Gospel we visit in Sundays in Lent in Year A. Enjoy your Lent companionship with them.