Signs in the Wilderness
Signs in the Wilderness portrays Nicodemus as a traveler on a faith journeythrough the wilderness who is tested by Jesus's signs. Signs test Nicodemus's faith in the same way they tested that of the wilderness generations of ancient Israel in the book of Numbers. The first generation saw the miraculous signs of God, yet refused to believe, and so forfeited its right to enter the promised land. The second generation, in contrast, saw the signs, believed, and boldly entered the promised land. So it was in John's Gospel as well, in which many people see Jesus' miraculous signs but refuse to believe, thus forfeiting eternal life. Others believe and inherit eternal life. Nicodemus is a test case in that his own wilderness experience is one of divine testing in the face of Jesus' signs. Will he have a heart of flesh, believe, and enter eternal life, or a hard heart of stone, refuse to believe, and die in the wilderness? Similarly, Jesus' signs test the readers of John's gospel, resulting in either belief or unbelief.