Today’s Gospel features Nicodemus who buried Jesus in the tomb that he had prepared for himself. Instead of following up on the Easter Week sequence, the Gospel unexpectedly skipped back to an incident three years earlier. So. we find ourselves in a meeting that had nothing to do with events following on Easter.
This old story had Nicodemus so afraid of being seen with Jesus that he slipped in by night. He blurted out his conviction that Jesus was something special. He said, “You are a teacher come from God.” He couldn’t go beyond that, and for Jesus it simply was not enough.
To see what was lacking back then we might take another look at yesterday’s Gospel. The reading for the Sunday after Easter concluded with St. John telling us his clear purpose in writing his Gospel. He said:
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that
are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come
to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through
this belief you may have life in his name.
So, John there tells us that of all things he witnessed Jesus doing and saying, the only incidents he chose for his Gospel were the ones that clearly prove to us that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.
Originally Nicodemus would not go that far, and he was a loser for stopping short. The same holds for us. We must whole-heartedly accept Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God.