John 7:40-53 NRSVue

40When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, “This is really the prophet.” 41Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some asked, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? 42Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” 43So there was a division in the crowd because of him. 44Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

45Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not arrest him?” 46The police answered, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” 47Then the Pharisees replied, “Surely you have not been deceived, too, have you? 48Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49But this crowd, which does not know the law, they are accursed.” 50Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before and who was one of them, asked, 51“Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” 52They replied, “Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.”


53Then each of them went home,

Some thoughts on this scripture

The police were sent to Jesus to arrest him, but they came back empty handed, exclaiming “Never has anyone spoken like this!” Familiarity can blunt us to the revolutionary power of Christ’s words. Lord, grant that I may hear and understand and be turned inside out.

Nicodemus reminds the Pharisees that the law does not allow people to be judged without a hearing. Is there someone in my life whom I have condemned without listening to their side of the story? Civil law requires a court to hear the other side. Let me do that.