Among the good priests who worked at the
Temple in Jerusalem was a man whose name
is pronounced Nick O'Demus ~ Nicodemus.  
That's an easy way to remember an old
Jewish name.

Nicodemus was a member of a group of
priestly councilmen who ruled the religion of
the country.  

Remember when Jesus turned over the money
tables and ran the animals out of the
Temple?  The greedy priests shouted, "No
one gave Jesus permission to wreck our
Temple store!"

Another reason the Temple priests did not
like Jesus is because God's king was supposed
to be both priest and king.  "What if Jesus
gets to be high priest and won't let us be
priests any more?  We'd be out of a job."

Many of the priests were jealous of Jesus
because he was popular with the people, and
they were not.

Although most of the Temple priests were
jealous of Jesus, Nicodemus liked him.  So
he sneaked off one night when the other
priests were asleep and went to see Jesus.

Jesus explained to Nicodemus that he was
the Son of God and would not be a king or
priest on earth.  

"God so loved the world that he gave his
only-born son, so that whoever believes in
him will be saved."  That is found in John
chapter 3, verse 16, which people usually say
is John 3:16.   Would you like to memorize
this verse?

Nicodemus did not see Jesus again for two
years.  That means that if you were 7 years
old when you saw Jesus, you wouldn't see
him again until you were 9 years old.

"Look!  Jesus is back!"everyone in the Temple
was saying.  The worshippers loved Jesus.  
This made the jealous Temple priestly council
members even madder.

To be jealous means you are mad because
someone has something you want.  The
priestly council members wanted to get rid of
Jesus, so they ordered, "Arrest him!"

"We couldn't arrest  him," the Temple
guards reported later.  "He talks about loving
each other and following God."  So the
Temple priestly council got mad at the guards.

Although Nicodemus knew most of the Temple
council would be mad at him too, he stood up
and said, "Jesus has the right to defend
himself before being sent to jail."

Then Jesus left and Nicodemus did not see
him again for another year.  But that time
something very terrible had happened.  Jesus
was hung from a wood crossbeam just by
nails through his hands and feet.  He was in
a lot of pain.  

Jesus died a few hours later on the cross.  
Nicodemus was very sorry he had not stood
and defended Jesus more.

So Nicodemus got with another member of
the priestly council named Joseph and the
two of them gave Jesus a nice funeral.  
Later when Jesus came back to life, he
forgave them for not defending him.

It is better to do good even if you think it is
too late.  God will understand and be happy
that you at least tried.  Is there something
good you have put off doing that you could
do now?  That would make God happy.