A close-up photo capturing a worn-out Bible page, revealing the highlighted mention of Nicodemus, showcasing the significance of his mentions in the biblical text.

How Many Times Is Nicodemus Mentioned In The Bible?

Nicodemus was an important religious figure in the Bible who had a fascinating story arc that intersected with Jesus at pivotal moments. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Nicodemus is mentioned 3 times in the Bible.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore all 3 passages where Nicodemus appears, analyzing his significance and what we can learn about him. We’ll also look at some key details about Nicodemus like what his name meant, his position of authority, and his growing faith in Jesus over time.

Nicodemus’s First Appearance – Coming to Jesus at Night

Nicodemus Seeks Out Jesus

The first time we meet Nicodemus is in John 3:1-2, where it says “Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God.

For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

A couple interesting things to note here. First, Nicodemus was a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin, which means he was likely well-educated in the Jewish faith and very knowledgeable of the law. However, despite his prestige and authority, he sought out Jesus to learn from him.

This showed an openness and humility on Nicodemus’ part.

Secondly, the text says Nicodemus came at night. There’s been a lot of speculation as to why this was. Many believe he came at night so as not to be seen by the other Pharisees. He didn’t want to associate openly with Jesus because the Pharisees viewed Jesus as a threat.

So he decided to come incognito under the cover of darkness.

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus About Being Born Again

When Nicodemus approaches Jesus, Jesus responds in an unexpected way in verses 3-8 saying:

“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases.

You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

This conversation puzzled Nicodemus, seen in his statement “How can someone be born when they are old?” He was taking Jesus’ words literally. But Jesus used this as a metaphor to explain the need for spiritual rebirth and regeneration.

We must be “born again” spiritually, cleansed of our sin through repentance and faith in Him.

Jesus uses the illustration of the wind to explain the mysterious, unseen work of the Holy Spirit in transforming a person’s heart and giving them spiritual life. Just as the wind’s origin is a mystery, so is this spiritual rebirth.

This was a major theme of Jesus’ teaching that without being made spiritually new, no one can enter God’s kingdom. These words left a huge impression on Nicodemus and helped lay a foundation for his future faith.

Nicodemus Advocates for Due Process Regarding Jesus

As a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin council, Nicodemus was in a unique position to advocate for Jesus when opposition to Him started mounting. Though Nicodemus was initially drawn to Jesus and defended Him early on, Scripture records only one specific instance where Nicodemus spoke up on Jesus’ behalf.

Nicodemus Argues Against Condemning Jesus Without a Hearing

In John 7, when the chief priests and Pharisees were seeking to seize Jesus, Nicodemus courageously challenged their intentions: “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” (John 7:51).

He appealed to their reason – shouldn’t they at least hear Jesus out before jumping to conclusions and sentencing Him?

While Scripture does not record the response Nicodemus received, his question highlights an important principle – the necessity of due process. As a teacher of the Law, Nicodemus knew that justice should be impartial.

Even when accusations ran high against someone, the Law still guaranteed the right to a fair trial.

Sadly, in the end the Sanhedrin discarded this principle. After arresting Jesus, they held a sham trial and condemned Him without genuine cause. Nicodemus’ plea for reasonable discourse fell on deaf ears among his colleagues.

Nicodemus Takes Practical Steps Too

Though Nicodemus’ verbal defense failed to persuade the council, he took other significant actions as well.

After Jesus was crucified, Nicodemus assisted Joseph of Arimathea in preparing His body for burial (John 19:39-40). This was a courageous and dangerous move, as anyone publicly associated with Jesus risked retaliation.

In this dark time when Jesus’ own disciples had abandoned Him, Nicodemus literally got his hands dirty caring for his deceased Teacher. Along with Joseph, he generously donated costly burial spices – 75 pounds worth!

Considering Jesus died as a condemned criminal, this lavish burial would not have happened without Nicodemus’ initiative and financial backing. His actions matched his words – he truly sought to honor Jesus even when cohort opinion turned decisively against Him.

Lessons from Nicodemus’ Advocacy

Throughout his interactions with Jesus, Nicodemus displayed growth in his understanding and courage.

When first approaching Jesus at night, Nicodemus admitted, “no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him” (John 3:2). Yet it appears he was not yet ready to defend Jesus openly.

By boldly challenging the Pharisees’ intentions in John 7, Nicodemus demonstrated increased conviction and bravery. And his lavish care for Jesus’ burial showed tangible devotion.

Nicodemus’ example reminds believers to match expressions of faith with practical action. It also shows that defending truth sometimes requires swimming against the tide of popular opinion. Even good intentions cannot guarantee persuasive results.

Still, acting rightly allows God’s truth to shine despite circumstances.

As an educated, well-respected teacher, Nicodemus possessed unique influence potential. Though the Sanhedrin disregarded his arguments, Scriptures preserving his brave defense continue impacting truth-seekers 2000 years later!

In the end, Nicodemus fulfilled what it means to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8). May his exemplary advocacy inspire modern believers confronting injustices today.

Nicodemus Helps Prepare Jesus’ Body for Burial

After Jesus died on the cross, a secret disciple named Nicodemus courageously came forward to help prepare his body for burial. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council called the Sanhedrin. Previously, he had visited Jesus at night to ask him questions about spiritual truths.

Although Nicodemus believed Jesus was a teacher from God, he had not publicly declared his faith in Christ.

However, after Jesus’ death, Nicodemus boldly joined Joseph of Arimathea in taking care of Jesus’ body. Joseph was another secret follower of Jesus who asked Pilate for permission to take away the crucified body. Pilate agreed to release Jesus’ body to them.

Nicodemus brought a large amount of myrrh and aloes, about 75 pounds, to use for Jesus’ burial according to the Jewish custom. This was an extraordinarily generous gift, as such spices were rare and costly.

Together, Joseph and Nicodemus wrapped Jesus’ body in long strips of linen cloth with the spices, in accordance with Jewish burial practices.

This noble act by Nicodemus shows his love for Jesus. Although he had previously been timid about revealing his faith, Nicodemus courageously honored Christ in his death. His generosity in providing abundant spices demonstrated his devotion as he helped lay Jesus’ body to rest in Joseph’s newly carved tomb.

Nicodemus’ story reminds us that even when faith starts small, it can grow. He progressed from secrecy to openly honoring and caring for the body of Jesus. Though Nicodemus appears only a few times in Scripture, he teaches us much about developing a bold and sincere faith.


In conclusion, Nicodemus is specifically mentioned 3 times in Scripture – in John chapter 3, chapter 7, and chapter 19. Though few details are given about his life, the Bible paints a portrait of a Pharisee who was drawn to Jesus.

We see Nicodemus grow to defend Jesus before his peers and honor Him at His death, even when it was risky to do so. Nicodemus’ encounters with Christ and his small acts of courage remind us that even brief biblical cameo appearances can carry great significance and inspire our faith.

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