What Jesus Did! 'If You Can't Beat 'em, Criticize Them' — John 7:52

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Jewish leaders answered, "Are you from Galilee too? Study the Scriptures. You will learn that no prophet comes from Galilee." [The oldest and best Greek copies of John do not have verses 7:53-8:11]
— John 7:52
Illustration of John 7:52 — "Are you from Galilee too? Study the Scriptures. You will learn that no prophet comes from Galilee."

Key Thought

One person against a group seldom wins the short-term battle. If the group is wrong with its information, it will be wrong in its conclusion no matter how many people stand up and speak in support of that conclusion. Rather than trying to deal with the truth of Nicodemus' statement, the rulers of Israel use a slur against Galileans and their wrong information about Jesus' city of origin to shame Nicodemus. However, Nicodemus was right and they were wrong. Nicodemus was a seeker and they were satisfied. Nicodemus stood for truth and they wanted to stay comfortable. We must always put our conclusions up to the test of truth. Simply because a lot of other folks agree with us does not make it right. Perhaps it even ought to make us a little bit suspicious. When Jesus enters into a situation, he nearly always shakes up the status quo and tears down the sacred cows. Let's NOT be like the religious hypocrites of Jesus' day who loved their positions, their teachings, and their cronies more than they loved the truth and the one who embodied that truth.

Today's Prayer

Father, forgive me for the times that I have shut my heart to the radical truth of your righteousness, justice, and mercy because I found myself comfortable with my own religious position. Please keep alive in me the heart of a seeker—a truth-seeker, a people-seeker, a Jesus-seeker. Conform me to be more like Jesus and less like the religious hypocrites of Jesus' day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The last day of the festival came. It was the most important day. On that day Jesus stood and said with a loud voice, "If a person is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. If a person believes in me, rivers of living water will flow out from his heart. That is what the Scriptures say." Jesus was talking about the {Holy} Spirit. The Spirit had not yet been given to people, because Jesus had not yet {died and} been raised to glory. But later, those people that believed in Jesus would receive the Spirit. The people heard these things that Jesus said. Some of the people said, "This man really is the Prophet. " Other people said, "He is the Christ. " Other people said, "The Christ will not come from Galilee. The Scriptures say that the Christ will come from the family of David. And the Scriptures say that the Christ will come from Bethlehem, the town where David lived." So the people did not agree with each other about Jesus. Some of the people wanted to arrest Jesus. But no person tried to do this. The temple police went back to the leading priests and the Pharisees. The priests and the Pharisees asked, "Why did you not bring Jesus?" The temple police answered, "The things he says are greater than the words of any person we've ever heard!" The Pharisees answered, "So Jesus has fooled you too! Have any of the leaders believed in Jesus? No! Have any of us Pharisees believed in him? No! But those people {out there} know nothing about the law. They are under God's curse!" But Nicodemus was there in that group. Nicodemus was the one that had gone to see Jesus before. Nicodemus said, "Our law will not let us judge a person without hearing him. We cannot judge him until we know what he has done." The Jewish leaders answered, "Are you from Galilee too? Study the Scriptures. You will learn that no prophet comes from Galilee." [The oldest and best Greek copies of John do not have verses 7:53-8:11]

John 7:37-52

Related Scripture Readings

"Continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, if a person continues asking, that person will receive. If a person continues looking, that person will find. And if a person continues knocking, the door will open for that person. "Do any of you have a son? If your son asked for bread, would you give him a rock? No! Or if your son asked for a fish, would you give him a snake? No! {You are not like God}—you are evil. But you know how to give good things to your children. So surely your heavenly Father will give good things to those people that ask him. "Do to other people the same things you want them to do to you. This is the meaning of the law {of Moses} and the {teaching of the} prophets. "Enter through the narrow gate {that opens the way to heaven}. The road that leads to hell is a very easy road. And the gate to hell is very wide. Many people enter that gate. But the gate that opens the way to {true} life is very small. And the road to {true} life is very difficult (hard). Only a few people find that road.

Matthew 7:7-14

At that time, Peter was sitting in the yard. A servant girl came to Peter. The girl said, "You were with Jesus, that man from Galilee." But Peter said that he was never with Jesus. He said this to all the people there. Peter said, "I don't know what you are talking about." Then Peter left the yard. At the gate, another girl saw him. The girl said to the people there, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth." Again, Peter said that he was never with Jesus. Peter said, "I promise to God that I don't know this man Jesus!" A short time later, some people standing there went to Peter and said, "We know you are one of those men that followed Jesus. We know this because of the way you talk." Then Peter began to curse. He said strongly, "I promise to God that I don't know this man Jesus!" After Peter said this, a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had told him: "Before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you don't know me." Then Peter went outside and cried bitterly.

Matthew 26:69-75

Jesus heard that John was put in prison. So Jesus went back to Galilee. Jesus did not stay in Nazareth. He went and lived in Capernaum, a town near the lake (Lake Galilee). Capernaum is in the area near Zebulun and Naphtali. Jesus did this to make happen what the prophet Isaiah said: "{Look at} the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the lands by the road that goes to the sea, the area past the Jordan River— Galilee, the land where non-Jewish people live. Those people live in darkness (sin), but they have seen a great light; the light has come for those people that live in the land that is dark like a grave."

Matthew 4:12-16

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.