Passage: John 3:11
Keyword: second person
I have always had a bit of a soft spot in my heart for Nicodemus.
Jesus is the new kid on the block, the new radical. He is already stirring up problems for the religious establishment, and Nicodemus takes a pretty big risk. He comes at night, during his normal study time but also under the cloak of darkness, and wants to talk with Jesus face to face. (How many personal and organizational conflicts would be settled if we would follow Nicodemus’ example and actually talk with the other person rather than attack and gossip?)
What apparently drove Nicodemus was that while Jesus seemed to be radical—cleansing the temple was not an act of compliance with the status quo—Nicodemus cannot avoid the obvious fact of Jesus’ miracles and the implication that Jesus must therefore be from God. He’s pretty bold if you stop and think about it.
Jesus of course gets right to the point, and Nicodemus struggles to keep up, falling further and further behind with every verse. Eventually Jesus is monologuing and Nicodemus seems not to exist.
But there is more to the story than that, and it is seen in the alternating between singular and plural, a grammatical nicety that comes into English only with difficulty.