"They (the Pharisees) replied, 'Are You from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee'" (John 7:52). Read John 7:32, 45-52.
The Jewish leaders hear the crowds wondering if Jesus might be the Messiah. They decide it's time to act. So they send the temple guards to arrest Him. But it isn't Jesus' time yet. Impressed by the authority of Jesus' words the guards return empty handed. The Light will keep shining a little while longer in the darkness.
Jesus is trying to break through the darkness of the Jewish authorities through their temple guard. If these men are willing to listen to Jesus, perhaps the chief priests and Pharisees will follow their example. But the leaders harden their hearts and accuse the guard of being deceived like the crowds who must be under a curse.
If they won't listen to the guards, perhaps they will listen to one of their own. Nicodemus speaks up. He suggests they give Jesus a fair hearing rather than blindly condemning Him. Instead, they turn on him with two exaggerations. First, they claim none of the authorities believe in Him-though at least Nicodemus does. Second, they claim no prophet ever came from Galilee, but they overlook Jonah who was from Galilee. They attempt to close ranks against Jesus through intimidation and lies.
We often plant our heels in the sand and refuse to budge no matter what anyone might say, no matter what the church might say, no matter what God's Word might say. But Jesus suffered and died for our stubbornness just as He did for all our other sins.
God continues to work through His Word and Sacrament to break through our persistent unbelief and move us to understand and accept the truth.
THE PRAYER: Lord, forgive my stubborn pride, and move me to true, sincere faith. Amen.
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