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.  

Discounted Jesus

John 7:13-15 WEB

Yet no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews. [14] But when it was now the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught. [15] The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How does this man know letters, having never been educated?”


Surely the Father equipped Jesus for ministry. Jesus was from a family of tradesmen (Mark 6:3). He was from Galilee (John 7:52). More, he had a grasp of scripture that was uncommon. Jesus is recorded as quoting 23 different scriptures from the Old Testament. In addition, he referenced 17 stories from the Old Testament (1).

Jesus was almost certainly educated (2). However, the prejudice of those judging Jesus in the above passage caused them to assume he was unable to understand scripture. Ironically, the evidence he knew the Word of God was right in front of their eyes. They had heard him teach and preach (Mat 7:28) and still, they could not get beyond their prejudice (John 7:52).

The Judeans were disgusted by Galileans. Judeans were educated. Many of them probably studied with a rabbi. Consequently, they viewed tradesmen as having lower status. Even though Jesus was surely a brilliant craftsman, all they could see was he wasn’t like them. And for that, he was ridiculed as foolish (Mat 9:11, 34, 12:2, 14, 24.)

Jesus was also ridiculed for coming from Galilee. Judeans despise Galileans (3). They had their own accents, clothing styles, and values which offended Judeans. Practically all Pharisees were from Judea. Anyone from Galilee would be instantly recognized by their speech and clothes (Mark 14:69-70). And, due to prejudice, they were not chosen as disciples. The prejudice of the Pharisees had the power to divide the two people groups causing one to have a significant disadvantage.

Jesus did not let his demographics define him or his ministry. Being from Galilee, he would not be chosen to follow a rabbi. However, Jesus clearly wanted to serve God and he likely tried the path of the disciple. We cannot know for sure, but the evidence we have from his childhood reveals a deep hunger for the things of God (Luke 2:44-46). The path of a rabbi would be a normal path. For Judeans. Not Galileans. This surely gave the Lord compassion and mercy on those rejected for things out of their control.


Lord, please forgive me for pridefully comparing myself to others, especially those who are different than me. Forgive me for discounting people and help me see others as you see them. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  1. (bit.ly/3tbQyx6)
  2. (bit.ly/3vrE3Af)
  3. (bit.ly/36Frln3)

#Jesus #Rabbi #God #Carpenter #Disciple #Galilee #Judea

Saving Some

John 4:36-38 WEB

He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. [37] For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ [38] I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”


Jesus is telling his disciples they are about to reap a harvest that another planted. Jesus and the disciples are waiting for the Samaritan woman and her countrymen to return. While they are waiting Jesus lets the disciples know what is about to happen (Jeremiah 33:3). In the preceding verses, we get the idea that the disciples do not like what Jesus is doing (John 4:27). The disciples’ prejudice towards Samaritans would have caused them to walk through the area without stopping. That same prejudice has their minds dulled but Jesus tells them plainly what is about to happen (John 4:33). Namely, the disciples’ are about to reap a harvest of souls that they did not sow (John 4:39-42).  

This passage brings so much hope to those who labor to see the lost won for Jesus. It does not matter if we are planting, watering, or reaping. We all share the joy with Jesus when a lost soul is saved from damnation (Romans 2:7, Proverbs 11:23-25). For this reason, we must both wait and labor with patience. How we wait matters. We should be in a posture of readiness as we wait (1 Corinthians 9:22-23). Thus, we present ourselves ready to labor in every situation so that some may be saved. That interaction with the sales clerk matters. That interaction with the postal worker matters. That interaction with the person who cut you off in traffic matters.

It matters that we do not uproot the work in the lives of people that others have planted and watered. It is important that we recognize God desires all people to be saved (John 3:16). So, how we treat all people matters. Holiness matters. We should be putting our best selves out for all people, not just those who can do something for us. Our most significant contributions may be bringing smiles to those that serve us out in the marketplace. You are meant to be sharing Christ, so it seems reasonable that many of the people you interact with recognize you are a Christian (Matthew 6:20-21).


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for not recognizing the immeasurable worth of the people around me both at home and in the marketplace. Please help me represent you well and have a word of salvation for all people. Please help me not uproot what others have planted and watered. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.