Devotional Scripture: John 7:30-52
"Others said, 'He is the Christ.' Still others said, 'How can the Christ come from Galilee?" - John 7:41
I am drawn to several things in our reading of John 7.
First . . . we begin to see a trend that will continue on through the rest of the John . . . the Pharisee's attempts to defend themselves through their veiled attempts at keeping order.
Something I've learned in life . . . that "power is as power does."
In other words, I seen throughout my life that people with power usually do what they can to keep it.
Politicians work hard to get re-elected over and over and over and over.
Supervisors in the business world doing what they do to keep "up-and-comers" in line. Seems a lot of people who have the title "boss" seem preoccupied with supressing challengers to their authority. Efforts such as this are, in my experience, usually a "lose - lose."
I was raised to understand that authority is a privilege, not a right. I was taught to respect those in authority over me . . . and I usually follow the same line of thought today.
Authority is also a major responsibility. If you are in authority, you have a responsibility to the company you work for, but also to those who work for/with you. The religious leaders in Jesus' time had forgotten about this responsibility, or chose to ignore it. The "least of these" were suffering mightly under Roman occupation, but also under the rule of their religious leaders.
Second . . . as I read this text, I sense a lot of confusion. The common people's understanding of the "Messiah" had come to be focused on their hope that such a peson was going to be a king in the full sense of the word . . . powerful, mighty, a military leader, a motivator of the people, charismatic, respected and feared by all enemies of Israel. They were ready for, and wanted, God to live up to the promise made to Abraham. Their desire was to be restored as God's people.
Apparantly, their interpretation of the scriptures related to a Messiah didn't reflect well on such leadership coming out of Galilee.
I wonder if their confusion about the teachings of Jesus were related to the fact that they thought they knew everything about God that there was a need to know. Also, what people often believe about how God will act, or what God wants, is often tied related to what they themselves really believe and want.
No wonder there was confusion. Tying your beliefs with what you want is always a toxic recipe. Confusion is the result. Who is really in charge? God . . . or us? The answer we usually offer is one that we might hope for, more so than the honest answer.
As you continue to clear and make straight the path that leads you to Easter, you might want to consider stopping for a moment to reflect on the question, "Is what I believe in any way connected to what I want?" Pray about it . . . and listen to the word God gives you.
God's graces till amazes me . . . ><>