They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.” John 7:52 (NIV)
Men have had enough. They are losing control. People are going to Jesus. They are listening to Him. Those who like having everyone coming to them are upset. They are looking for a way to effectively deal with Jesus. One man stands out in the crowd. He gives his voice to reason. He tries to check our earthly intentions. He tries to make men see they are using their influence and their religion to meddle in God´s affairs. But they turn on him too. They point out that he is not from the fanciest background. They silence him because he comes from a less favorable beginning. Does it all sound familiar? Does History repeat itself? Do people get sidetracked like this still? Do we look to the earthly facts so many times before we bring the focus to God?
In the case of Nicodemus we see men refusing to draw near to God because of their preconceived ideas. People just like us were unable to see that the very Son of God was moving amongst them. They examined the Bible. They looked into the Scriptures. But were they looking to see the mighty arm of the Lord at work? Or were their studies more earthly oriented? Do we still do this now? How might we be interpreting the scriptures in a way that removes the hand of God from them? Would it be like the forces of evil to try and lower our vision of God? Could the Devil still be deviously trying to shift our gaze from what our Heavenly Father is working on? Would all the darkness in the world just love to have us squabbling about where our instruction comes from? Would evil be content to see Christians divided over spiritual matters?
If God were to send us a special message once again in our times, might He use like He has before, a person who we might not consider the holiest of souls? Would we be like those of old and squabble over where our prophet comes from? Would we question his or her background? What if they came from a different orthodox? What if their ideals don´t match up with our preferred religious trends? Do we look first at these things? Are we doing this now?
What about Jesus? If Jesus is somehow trying to work in our midst, what is our reaction going to be? Where will we be found focusing our time, our energies and our devotion? Are we in any way going to the Bible to make it prove something of a more personal agenda? Do we gain strength by surrounding ourselves with people who think like us? Or are we each as individuals, and as a whole, making an effort to see God despite all the variables? Are we pressing so close to the Lord that we hardly notice where the lesser details lie? Are we intent on receiving God as the most intimate and overshadowing Presence in our lives? Do we press this close and gaze this fully upon Him? If we are able to leave the lesser worldly issues to others who don´t have God in mind, then could we draw nearer still? Might blessing upon blessing come unto us still who look beyond our noisy planet? May we too be caught up in the most intense relationship with our Lord? Could we look to Jesus and see the hand of God at work in our lives? Could we see past all the other places and realize that the true messengers of God are a direct expression of His movement? Could God be where the real Prophet is from?
Dear Jesus, so many have failed to receive more of You because their attention fell to lesser things. Please help us overcome this habit of our race. Give us eyes that see the hand of God at work! Let us look for nothing less! Let us be the people who look past it all and see our God!