Short Meditations in John 7: 42. What about Scripture?
Jn 7:42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?”
There is debate about just who Jesus is. Is he the long awaited Messiah? Some say yes, some are not so sure. As we noted in the previous study there was the question about Galilee. Surely the Messiah was to come from Bethlehem (see Mt 2:1-6) and so they were asking, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee?” and it is there that this question I alluded to before about partial teaching or partial knowledge kicks in.
Why do I say that? Well, they clearly forgot that poignant prophecy in Isaiah 9, “In the future he will honour Galilee of the nations,” (v.1) and then goes on to talk about how a great light will come to that northern part of Israel, a land known for its darkness (v.2) because they were first in the path of invaders who so often came from the north. That prophecy continued on in detail to that famous part that starts, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (v.6) Oh, yes, Galilee was very much part of the prophecies about the Messiah! Those prophecies didn’t say he would be born there, simply that he would shine there, and that he clearly did, bringing a wonder to the people of such a measure that has never been seen before or since.
So here they are arguing over Jesus, over what the Old Testament scrolls said about him, but they are confused because they have anchored on just one set of verses and forgotten the rest. That is the danger in seeking the truth in Scripture, not that we shouldn’t seek it but that we should avoid getting bogged down in just one aspect of it; the reality is that there are usually many facets of the truth. The danger so often is that one ‘school of thinking’ feels they have to defend their stance and so once they settle into a defence-mode, they seem unable to see anything else. This is the folly of human thinking; we work with our minds and not with our spirits and we fail to let the Holy Spirit enlarge our limited understanding and so we end in confusion, as these people were now.
The truth? The scrolls were there with all their prophetic guidance but they should not have been the only arbiter of the truth; it should be word plus Spirit’s guidance plus the very obvious nature of the things Jesus was doing, the wonderful teaching, the even more wonderful ministry of healing, deliverance and the miraculous in general. If these things didn’t speak of the Messiah, what would?