Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him. (Jn 7:40-44)
One thing is for sure: Jesus was a man rejected by many. As reflected upon yesterday, that, in and of itself, is the mark of a true prophet! People tend to question those who make their lives more difficult, who challenge them.
In today’s Gospel, we read about many being confused about Jesus’ “pedigree”. Many wanted to call Him a prophet; however, they were not sure of His heritage, His origin.
They had heard, for centuries, that their Messiah would come from David’s family and come from Bethlehem. They could not accept Jesus because they saw Him as hailing from Galilee. (Little did they know.)
That confusion was enough to cause great consternation and to divide the people, some for, some against, Jesus and, therefore, against one another.
We are a jaded people, are we not? Instead of taking things at face value, we look deeper. Someone does something nice for us? We look to see if strings are attached. Someone does something nice for someone else, we grumble that they didn’t do it for us. Someone speaks a word of challenge and we tell them they should mind their own business.
Somehow, in the process, we ignore the fact that God may be speaking to us. We look for a way to get rid of the messenger in order to discount the message.
As much as we do that to others, we fear having people do that to us. Which is why, for so many, it is difficult to get anyone to stand up for their faith in public.
We are often put down by others because we are people of faith. Because of that, many of us begin to curtail our practice of the faith. We will not say prayers before meals when at restaurants. We will not stand up for the truth for fear of ridicule. We will not speak about our beliefs in the workplace. Let us do all that we can to live the faith, to witness to the Lord, in this world of ours!
FAITH ACTION: Consider what practices of the faith you may have left behind for fear. Resolve to become a witness to the world.