Summary: A Pharisee and leading member of the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus eventually became
a defender and disciple of Yeshua.
Nicodemus is first mentioned being numbered among a group of the Sanhedrin sent from
Jerusalem to gather information about the Essene, John the Baptizer (Y:1:25-49).
The delegation inquired of John as to whether or not he was a Elijah, and why he
and his disciples practiced baptism.
At the onset of Yeshua’s ministry, Nicodemus is recorded advising Caiaphas and the
chief elders to delay judgment of Yeshua prior to a lawful inquiry. Ananus rebuked
Nicodemus, making the argument that never before had a prophet come out of Galilee
Nicodemus was the recipient of a letter written by the wealthy merchant, Joseph of
Arimathea. Having been greatly moved by the words of Yeshua (Y:27:7-43), Joseph wrote
to Nicodemus to convey his belief in Yeshua and express concern for the Sanhedrin,
stating: “Take care among those which rule in Jerusalem concerning him. Lest by contending
against [Yeshua], you fight against God also” (Y:27:44-51). After sharing Joseph’s
words with certain members of the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus was commissioned to go visit
Yeshua in secret to avoid punishment by the temple leaders (Y:27:52-53).
John, the son of Levi, accompanies Nicodemus to secretly visit with Yeshua in Bethany.
During the conversation, Nicodemus asks how one might be accepted of God. When Yeshua
mentions the importance of being ‘born again’, Nicodemus seems puzzled and inquires
further. Yeshua lightly chides Nicodemus, saying: “Are you not a master in Israel?
How is it that you know not these things?” The meeting had a powerful impact upon
Nicodemus, with scripture stating he “gave forth all his heart unto the Lord from
that day forth” (Y:31:1-38).
A year later, during what is known as Yeshua’s ‘triumphal entry into Jerusalem’ (Y:42:1-8),
Nicodemus was among the elders observing the event from the temple walls (Y:42:13).
Midst the cheering of the crowds, Nicodemus quotes from Jewish scripture (Zechariah
9:9), saying: “Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:
For, behold, your king is come unto you, riding upon an ass, and the foal of an ass”
Directly following Yeshua’s unlawful arrest at the Garden of Gethsemane, John (the
son of Levi) went to notify Nicodemus of what had happened (Y:46:45). Accompanied
by fifteen others of the Sanhedrin, Nicodemus arrived at the house of Caiaphas to
“contend against the High Priest for Yeshua’s sake”. But Caiaphas, through “treachery
and deceit”, had Yeshua delivered to Pilate, then proceeded to imprison Nicodemus
and order many of the Sanhedrin to be killed (Y:47:15-16).
Scripture reports that days later, the resurrected Yeshua appeared to Nicodemus to
comfort him while he remained in prison (Y:48:28). Yeshua also appeared to Caiaphas
and Ananus, scolding them for persecuting the righteous (Y:48:29-34). Greatly troubled,
Ananus set Nicodemus free from prison. Yet when Caiaphas discovered what his father-in-law
had done, he had Ananus strangled to death (Y:48:35-36).