PROP: A flashlight
KEY SCRIPTURE: John 3
How many of you have ever had the chance to play around with a flashlight? A flashlight can be
a fun thing to play with, but it’s also a very useful tool. What are some of the ways we can use
flashlights in a helpful way?
If you had to go out after dark looking for something or someone, a flashlight would be very
helpful, wouldn’t it? Today, I want to tell you about someone who went looking for something
after dark—someone who, if he had had one, might have used a flashlight. His name was
Nicodemus, and he was looking for a very important person: Jesus.
Like many people who heard Jesus speak, Nicodemus was intrigued by Jesus’ teachings. He
wanted to know more about who Jesus was and what he had to say. But Nicodemus was afraid
to go and see Jesus in the daytime. Why? Because Nicodemus was one of the Pharisees, and the
Pharisees, as a rule, did not like Jesus.
The Pharisees were a crooked and greedy group. They were entrusted with teaching the Word
of God to God’s people, but they had become corrupted by their own power. So when Jesus
showed up, the Pharisees did everything they could to discredit him without bothering to listen.
But Nicodemus did listen, and a lot of what Jesus said made sense to him. Still, Nicodemus was
afraid to be seen talking to Jesus because of his position. So Nicodemus went to see Jesus after
dark, late at night.
It’s not always popular to be a fan of Jesus, especially today. You’ve probably encountered
friends, teachers, and other people who don’t believe in Jesus. Some may even mock or laugh at
those who do believe. It’s tempting to stay quiet and hide our faith around people like that, but
Jesus doesn’t want us to hide. Jesus loves the mockers and the nonbelievers just as much as he
loves us, and he wants us to shine our light in this dark world.
There’s a neat ending to Nicodemus’ story that comes much later. After Jesus was crucified, a
man named Joseph claimed Jesus’ body and buried it in his family tomb. Guess who helped him
to bury Jesus? Nicodemus! Even after all the disciples but one had abandoned Jesus, Nicodemus
came forward to help bury the man he had come to believe in as a savior. He was no longer afraid
because he had come to believe what Jesus had told him was true.
One of the things that Jesus told Nicodemus is probably the first verse you ever memorized.
Nicodemus’ story comes from John 3, and right in the middle of that chapter is John 3:16: “For
God so loved the world, he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not die,
but have eternal life.”
Jesus died for Nicodemus, for the Pharisees, for us, and for those who would make fun of our
beliefs. If we hide out faith, we might spare ourselves some embarrassment, but we’d be keeping
a secret the world desperately needs to hear!
To download this story, click here: Nicodemus-Flashlight