Today's Gospel: John 7:40-53 In today’s gospel, John show us that there is a conflict between what people see and hear Jesus saying and doing, and what they have been taught to believe. On the basis of his words and actions, Jesus looks like the Messiah; but as every pious Jew knows, the Messiah will not come from Galilee but from Bethlehem. When the guards are asked by the religious leaders why they have not arrested Jesus, they reply: “There has never been anybody who has spoken like him.” The guards and the crowds are listening with hearts open to the presence of God and so they know intuitively that Jesus is the Messiah, even if superficial facts seem to say He can’t be. The religious leaders scold the guards and write off the crowds as ignorant and cursed. One Pharisee, Nicodemus, stands up to the majority by pointing out that the law says a man should be given a hearing before judgement is passed. Of course, he is dismissed because the other religious leaders cannot let go of the idea that prophets do not come from Galilee. The truth is Jesus did come from Nazareth but he was also of the family of David, born in Bethlehem. Today people still jump to conclusions based on preconceived ideas without digging deeper or listening to the voice of God. Just like the Pharisees, it is easy to dismiss the reality and power of Christ to transform us here and now, in our daily lives. When we cling to our own ideas of who God is and how He must move in our lives, we become immune to the challenging voice of the living God.


In what ways am I blinded to the presence of God by my own preconceived ideas about who God is and how He should speak to me?


Pray to be open to the many, surprising ways the Holy Spirit can speak to you. Lord, reveal the areas in my life where I act more like a Pharisee than a follower of Christ.
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