Today’s Gospel: John 7:40-53
Have you ever experienced confusion between something you see or hear versus something you were taught to believe?
That’s what is happening in today’s gospel reading. The chief priests and Pharisees are judging Jesus based on their short-sightedness and preconceived ideas. He cannot be the Christ because He is from Galilee. (Nazareth is in Galilee.)
They don’t bother to get the facts so they could have learned that He is from David’s family, from Bethlehem. They don’t want to learn the facts because they don’t want to be presented with information that might argue against their firmly held ideas.
The guards could not arrest Jesus after hearing him speak and teach, because they listened to him and realized His truth. Yet even then the Pharisees would not consider another opinion. Their arrogance would not permit them to believe someone else might be right and they could be wrong.
Nicodemus knew Jesus. He had met and listened and accepted His words earlier, so he was the only one of the Pharisees who defended Jesus. The rest of them still refused to consider they could be wrong.
Let’s commit ourselves to being less judgmental and more open to the truth in our everyday lives. Less arrogant in our opinions and more humble about our own perceptions. Remember to use the Bible as an instruction manual for today, not just as stories about the past.
How often do we hear gossip about people and form our ideas about them, without ever getting the true facts or hearing them speak or getting to know them? How often do we refuse to challenge our old preconceived notions and admit we could be wrong about our firmly held ideas?
Good and gentle Jesus, bless us and open our hearts and minds to the truth. Help us to shed our arrogance and learn to be open-minded. Give us patience and understanding to listen and respect other people.
Copyright 2014 Deborah Shelby