I recently preached a sermon about Nicodemus. As a refresher, he came to see Jesus under the cover of night to talk with him about God. In the Gospel of John, right before Nicodemus’ nighttime visit, is the story of Jesus cleansing the temple. I wondered aloud if perhaps Nicodemus was a witness to this event, therefore impacting their encounter. Perhaps he heard the words and witnessed Jesus’ actions, and that was what drove him to visit Jesus. I wondered if perhaps what he witnessed was keeping him awake at night, if it made him wonder more about what he heard and experienced, and if it finally drove him to speak with Jesus.
Before he encountered Jesus, I wonder if Nicodemus had avoided these thoughts being exposed. Up until the moment he had gone to see Jesus, he remained invested in certain narratives that validated his past; for too long he had glossed over the parts of him he was too afraid to expose. This was perhaps the part in his journey when he was questioning everything he knew to be true up until that point.
As I sat writing the sermon, I froze. The story felt too real. The conclusions I drew felt too familiar. I knew this story, because I lived it when I discovered I am a lesbian.