But how could he be [the Messiah]? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.
John 7:27, NLT*
The common people thought Jesus would just “appear” – they wouldn’t know where He came from. John 7:41-42 shows that the religious leaders knew He’d be born in Bethlehem, which is why they had so much trouble with His coming from Nazareth.
I wonder if any of them thought to ask Him where He’d been born.
Today’s verse highlights the importance of spending time in God’s Word and in prayerful study to know what it really says. (Remember the Bereans, when Paul told them about Jesus? They looked into the holy writings for themselves instead of believing or disbelieving based on his word alone. Acts 17:11.)
The religious leaders’ response later in the chapter stresses the equal importance of realizing we may still not have the full picture, no matter how much head knowledge we have. We can’t assume we know it all. (Leaders like Nicodemus went to Jesus in an honest search for understanding. John 3:1-21.)
Seekers after God’s truth need to do three things:
- We can’t rely on hearsay and assumptions – we need to learn for ourselves.
- Ask honest questions, in prayer and of those who believe.
- Live daily in trust and obedience, keeping close to God and growing closer.
We don’t want to have it half right and miss the Saviour.
Awesome and holy God, although Jesus came as “God with skin on,” there’s so much more to You than we can grasp. Yet You do reveal Yourself to us as we spend time with You and surrender our lives to Your care. Give us a hunger to know You better, and hearts to love and obey You. Where we have misconceptions or false assumptions, open our eyes to the truth.
Our song this week is Third Day‘s “Who is This King of Glory?”
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Janet, this reminds me of a time early in my Christian walk when I watched a daily TV show – a pastor giving Bible lessons – because I was eager to learn. One day he made a comment about a Bible story that didn’t fit with what I’d heard others say. I did turn to the Bible. I did find another reference. And realized the man was adjusting the story to meet his sensibilities (he was saying that Rahab wasn’t a harlot, but a woman who dealt in textiles, because she hid the spies under some cloth on her roof.) I figured if he would change that detail, he might be changing others as well, so I stopped watching the program. We really do need to seek out scripture for ourselves.
Yes, if a person “edits” something in the Bible and we notice, it’s a fair question what else they may be changing, too. One more reason to read the Bible regularly!
reminds me of Acts 17:11 – Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. – We have to be Biblically literate or we will be tempted to judge things by what seems right in our own eyes. And since God’s ways are higher than our ways, that will always lead us down the wrong path.
I agree, Karen. A verse I keep coming back to is Proverbs 5:6 about trusting the Lord completely, and not relying on our own understanding. Our way often looks right, but we’re not seeing what God sees.