Nick was a wimp, and yet more courageous than the others. Consider what these verses tell us about Nicodemus:
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” (John 3:1-2)
He was a ruler, a man of extraordinary power and authority. Moreover, he was not alone in that position but was one of a group of rulers (he said “we…”). This group of “rulers” knew that Jesus came from God, they saw the evidence of it. Pharisees were highly educated experts on the Scriptures. Presumably, what they saw and “knew,” corresponded to what they had studied in Scripture. And this group of powerful “rulers” had come to a consensus. They knew Jesus had come from God. And yet, when they wanted to know more, they sent Nick, under the cover of darkness, so no one would see, no one would know. Nick at night. Why such a wimpy approach?
Perhaps they thought experts should already know all the answers and didn’t want to show their confusion and curiosity. Maybe they were afraid to lend credibility to Jesus thereby weakening their positions of authority. We can’t be sure why he went at night. But, of this we can be sure: This powerful group of experts, who knew Jesus was from God, eventually conspired to eliminate Him. Despite what they knew.
As we find ourselves drawn to Jesus, perhaps curious, confused or genuinely interested, we may also feel pressure to hide our interest from our peers. We may fear ridicule or rejection. We may creep to Jesus under the cloak of darkness. But eventually, what we know must direct what we do. There are many reasons people suppress what they know at this point. But don’t wimp out; to do so is eternally dangerous.
P.S. Because Nicodemus helped prepare Jesus’ body for burial, it is likely he had a change of heart.