Nicodemus is always known, the few times he’s mentioned in scripture, as the one who came to Jesus by night. He was one who was very intrigued by Jesus. This is the second time we see him lurking in the shadows, if you will, as he tried to figure it all out.
50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)
51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?
The first time was in John chapter three:
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Nicodemus was a Pharisee. So, just when the Pharisees suggested in John 7 that no Pharisee would ever believe in Jesus Christ, Nicodemus said, “Wait just a minute.” Nicodemus was willing to seek the truth just as Jesus had instructed the crowd to do earlier:
17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
That’s all he wanted. Nicodemus was willing to weigh the evidence in pursuit of the truth. He basically said, “There’s no need to rush to any conclusions. Don’t make any assumptions.”
The last we read of Nicodemus is after the Lord’s death in John 19:
38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
We are never told if Nicodemus ever became a convinced believer but the evidence suggests he did. Perhaps he never made it public. Perhaps he was always a disciple under the cover of night. But at the very least, he was contemplative. He was willing to seek after the truth.
—Adapted from The Pharisees’ Unbelief (John 7:37-53)