Missing the Mark

John 7:40-43 WEB

Many of the multitude therefore, when they heard these words, said, “This is truly the prophet.” [41] Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “What, does the Christ come out of Galilee? [42] Hasn’t the Scripture said that the Christ comes of the offspring of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” [43] So there arose a division in the multitude because of him.


The Pharisees did not reject Jesus because of where he was born. The Pharisees rejected Jesus because of prejudice in their hearts. They rejected him because he was a Galilean. Practically all Pharisees came from Judea. The idea of being associated with a Galilean was revolting to Judeans. So, the Pharisees did not take the time to find out more. There were people right there with Jesus who knew where he was born.

If the Pharisees had honestly inquired, they would have learned Jesus was born in Bethlehem. But instead, they assumed their prejudice was true. For this reason, they did not even inquire. So profound was their hate they would not even consider Jesus might be the Messiah. The Pharisees knew so much about the word of God and so little about true godliness.

Godliness is not being perfect. It is having a heart that seeks God’s ways. Take meekness for example. Meekness is not strictly a New Testament addition to the faith. In Numbers 12:3 the bible says Moses was meek above all men. So, the value of meekness was revealed in the Old Testament. Yet the Pharisees, with their hundreds of rules for serving God, did not have enough meekness to consider the possibility that Jesus was the Messiah. They lost touch with the personal God and turned the living God into an idol.

The Pharisees saw riff-raff when they looked at Jesus. However, if the Pharisees curried meekness the way they curried wealth and influence, they may have realized the truth about Jesus. The truth was Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies of the Old Testament. Yet because of prejudice, the most devoted of God’s followers did not see the Messiah.


Lord Jesus, please open my understanding that I can discern the things of God. Remove any blinders from my spiritual eyes and lead me into repentance if prejudice lives in my heart. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.  

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