Short Meditations in John 7: 49. Blame (2)
Jn 7:49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”
There is a three-sided attack in this demeaning that we have been considering as the hapless guards return to their masters at the Temple and receive this put-down. We’ve seen the first part of it as they are accused of being deceived by Jesus (and implied within that is ‘what a bunch of gullible idiots you are to have been taken in by him’) and we saw the second part yesterday as they are mentally lined up before the ‘oh so clearly superior leaders of the Pharisees’ (who would never have been duped in such a way).
Now, in a third attack they are aligned with the ignorant common crowd who, from their point of view, know nothing (nothing?) of the law (like we do, implied) and show themselves to be cursed in their ignorance and their tendency to be swayed by any loud-mouthed agitator. It’s not a very nice thing to say, but it confirms my suggestion above – you gullible idiots, aligning yourselves with the gullible and ignorant and cursed crowd.
I repeat again what I said previously – it is a tactic of the enemy that is used as much today to demoralize and disarm God’s people by making them feel inferior to the intellects of today and suggesting we live in a bygone age of folk tales and myths that ‘wise’ people no longer believe in, only those who hold onto their superstitious nature. We need to see through it and see it for what it is, a deception of the enemy.
There is are two simple answers that this verse can direct us towards, and the first is simply to make sure we DO know the law, or rather do know the whole of the Bible. How few of us, I wonder, know our Bibles sufficiently well as to be able to give a reasoned, coherent answer to those who question or challenge us, how few of us have read widely to know how to come up with answers? Don’t say, well it’s up to our leaders to do that; we are all in the army of God, we are all called to be ready: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. “ (1 Pet 3:15) That is an instruction to the whole church.
The second simple answer to this challenge is to show by our lives that we are not cursed but are blessed. This simply means showing that we live peaceful, harmonious, caring, compassionate, involved lives, lives that stand out like light in the darkness, lives that don’t suffer divorces, don’t have marital breakups or family disorders, lives that show we are some of the best workers to have around, the best people to be with, the most trustworthy, those full of honesty and integrity. These are ways we overcome such attacks. May we be able to do that.