- Sr Siobhán
‘Never has anyone spoken like this!’
Saturday Week Four
Reading: John 7: 40-52
When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, ‘This is really the prophet.’ Others said, ‘This is the Messiah. But some asked, ‘Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he?’ Has the scripture not said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?’ So there was a division in the crowd because of him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, ‘Why did you not arrest him?’ The police answered, ‘Never has anyone spoken like this!’ Then the Pharisees replied, ‘Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? Have any of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd which does not know the law – they are accursed. Nicodemus who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, ‘Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?’ They replied, ‘Surely you are not also from Galilee are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.’
This passage clearly demonstrates how prejudice blocks faith and belief. Some of the crowd believed that the Messiah was in their midst; others denied it because a Galilean could not possibly be the chosen one for such a great privilege. Fortunately the temple police were open to the voice of holiness and acknowledged that never before had anyone spoken like Jesus. The Pharisees remained obstinate in their disbelief but Nicodemus who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them said, ‘Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?’ He challenged the authorities to give Jesus a hearing before making a judgement against him and in so doing he shows us a new way of relating to people. God uses whom so ever He wishes to convey his message of love to all people. He is not interested in heritage, education or social background to let us know how much he loves us and wants us to share in His mission. I have to be open to the opportunities that He offers me each day to listen to his voice and respond to his call to be a joyful messenger of His truth in my life. So often, he used the wounded or broken of the world to demonstrate his message and he will continue to do this. In prayer, I am asked not to allow my fear of difference or prejudice to block his mission of love to the world. I ask for the grace to be open to his voice and to respond in love to whatever he may ask of me.
Prayer Lord, I ask you to cleanse my heart of all prejudice;
I know that you use many different messengers to bring good news to all people;
May I welcome your messengers;
May I be open to the message that they bring; and live by your law of love this day and always, Amen.