John 7:47-52 (ESV)
37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.40 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.”41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee?42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?”43 So there was a division among the people over him.44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?”46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!”47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them,51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?”52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
There is something different about Jesus. I know that is an understatement. He is perfect. He is fully God and fully man. He is the only way to the Father. So, yes, he is different than anyone else in all of history and humanity.
In the context of John’s gospel we continue to see this difference from the perspective of those trying to arrest Jesus. They say, “no one ever spoke like this man.” Jesus causes a division as He presence demands that each person make a judgement of who He is. He spoke like no other so the people tried to categorize him. Prophet, Christ or criminal.
You have heard the question before, “if Jesus showed up today would Christian recognize him?” This is usually asked with an implied “no” as the answer And asked in order to shame. Usually it springs from a place of the one posing the question that they would because they know the real Jesus. Pretty prideful.
The reality is that left to our own we would construct Jesus into whatever we needed Him to be at any given time and place. When we would discover something that doesn’t fit our vision of Jesus we would write it off. “No messiah will come from Galilee.”
God did not leave us on our own. He provided the Spirit to testify to us who Jesus is. He seals our heart with the Truth of Christ and His work and call on our lives. It is a call to trust and follow and rest.
Father thank you for your Spirit that opens our eyes to see the true Jesus. Not the one of our own making but the one who has saved us. Thank you Jesus for being Truth. Thank you Spirit for teaching us and sealing our hearts so we know who Jesus is. Amen
Take time before Sunday to read John. Let it confront the things that are your “personal Jesus” ( with thanks to Depeche Mode). Ask the Spirit to reveal where you have built a false image of Jesus and ask Him to remove it.