Darkness had fallen on the city. The store holders and vendors who were vocal during the day had long since packed up their wares. The crowds that had filled the streets had all filtered back to their homes. People were enjoying the cool of the night, sharing time with family and friends. There was hardly a soul out. But there’s one figure, making his way through the city. He’s finely dressed, so he must be someone important. But it’s unusual to find someone like him hurrying about town so late at night. He’s not skulking in the shadows, but he’s not going out of his way to be seen either. As he stops at a doorway he looks around, to make sure no one can see just which house he’s about to enter, and then he knocks and waits anxiously to be let in.
It’s under the cover of darkness, coming out of the night, that we meet Nicodemus. John tells us that he’s a Pharisee, a leader of the Jews. He’s most likely one of the seventy members of the Sanhedrin. Jesus describes him as ‘the’ teacher of Israel. He was most likely known, or at least recognizable, by the inhabitants of Jerusalem.