Short Meditations in John 7: 51. Reasonableness
Jn 7:51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”
In the light of yesterday’s notes, I can’t help commenting that good intentions and reasonableness don’t always work! This is not to say that we should use the world’s methods and let go of righteousness, but it is to note that sometimes in the world, our good words fall on deaf ears as we shall see here.
Having acknowledged that, it is not to say that we should never try and present the truth, even when we sense we are not going to get anywhere. In the bigger picture, if we speak truth, the world will never be able to stand before God – as they will have to do one day – and say they didn’t know.
When I look back there have been times when we have leafletted whole areas with the Gospel. There are many people who cannot say, “Nobody told us!” We did. In our small town, with a population of about twelve thousand, there was a time when we put out a comprehensive church bulletin complete with the Gospel once a month for a year. Another time, earlier, a friend and I organised a very simple campaign one year with leaflets and bus posters, “Christmas comes but once a year – thank goodness” which then shared gospel, to about 80 thousand homes, and then the next year, “Put Christ back into Christmas,” to double that number. Each home owner will stand before the Lord one day and have to say, “Well, yes, I picked it up, scanned it and then binned in,” But they were told. It is a bit like the hotel where I am writing this particular study which, like many hotels has had a Bible put in every room by an organisation called the Gideons. The one in my room – that I used this morning – looks almost brand new and I have wondered how many people see it there and ignore it? The point is, they have had the opportunity to read it, and of course there may be the ones and twos who do and, having heard such testimonies, turned to Christ.
But Nicodemus speaks out for the truth which is that the Law required at least two witnesses before an accusation could be heard, but before that the accused needs to be heard and the basis of an accusation made clear but, as we shall soon see, these people weren’t ever bothered to do that, they had their set views and even someone such as a member of the Sanhedrin is not going to change them.
The thought comes – are we so set in our ideas that we are not open to the whole truth that God may wish to present to us? Clear beliefs are one thing but shutting our minds to anything else the Lord might want to teach us is something else.