October 30, 2020 – Friday
John 7:48 NIV
48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in Him?
Let’s take a look at the above verse in context
45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring Him in?”
46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied.
47 “You mean He has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in Him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”
50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing Him to find out what He has been doing?”
52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
Who were these people giving the temple guards such a difficult time? Pett tells us they included, The Pharisees, of course, had not had to face the huge crowds and could therefore afford to be brave, and they responded with disdain. Could they really not see the truth about Jesus? The leading authorities included the Chief Priests, the more important Pharisees, and many aristocrats. The separate reference to the Pharisees occurred because the speakers were Pharisees and were appealing to their fellow-Pharisees. Their comment about the crowds not knowing the Law was typical of their arrogance.
Their incredible derision for common people among many of the Pharisees is something we see common even to our own time and culture where many in the ruling class have the same distain for anyone who is not part of the actual ruling culture. They held Jesus in great contempt as He threatened the status of their world as did those who would listen to Him and hear the truth in His words.
However, there was one among them who wanted them to follow their own laws in looking at Jesus. He was Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing Him to find out what He has been doing?” Such a question was not appreciated, so they replied to him in a very insulting manner, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
Guzik tells us, The religious leaders who lived in Jerusalem and Judea despised the people of Galilee, and often mocked them. To these religious leaders from Judea, nothing good could come from Galilee. They despised the people of Galilee. Despised. What kind of religious leaders were these? They were leaders blind to their own past and what they said was simply not true. Two prophets and perhaps more hailed from Galilee. There was Jonah and Elijah for sure and likely also Nahum and Hosea. Their hate for Jesus and disdain for the common man made them blind to their own history. Their prejudice caused them to ignore the truth. Additionally, they were simply not willing to abide by or acknowledge the law when it did not provide the results they desired.
We return to our primary verse for today where they asked the temple guards, Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in Him? Of course, they had not except for the possibility of Nicodemus. They were not even interested in what He had to say. Only the people with an aching spiritual emptiness and a need for something they recognized as fulfilling that emptiness believed. They recognized the truth in Him and in His words and they came to believe. Then after His death, resurrection, and ascension, Pentecost came with the Holy Spirit and the world was never the same as thousands came to know Him as their Lord and Savior.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – The weekend is upon us. Help us to continually seek to know more and more about Jesus. Help us to see the truth in His words clearly and without doubt. Help us to put Him first and foremost in our lives. Strengthen us and all of our efforts Father. In Jesus name. Amen.