1 Chronicles 16-18 John 7:28-53
“When the people heard Jesus’ words, some of them said, ‘This man really is the Prophet. Others said, ‘He is the Christ.’ Still others said, ‘The Christ will not come from Galilee. The Scripture says that the Christ will come from David’s family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived.’ So the people did not agree with each other about Jesus.” (John 7:40-43 NCV)
Passions were heated in the discussions about Jesus. He seemed to fit every prophecy about the Messiah – except one. Jesus was from Galilee. Not only does nothing good come out of Galilee, or so they thought at that time, the Scriptures foretold that Jesus would be from Bethlehem and from the family of David. The dispute raged on the streets and in the inner workings of the Jewish leadership. When Temple guards failed to arrest Him, the Pharisees went ballistic and when Nicodemus suggested they at least ought to listen to Jesus before judging Him, he felt their wrath as well. After all, no prophet came from Galilee. At that point, this seemed to be their strongest argument against Jesus. But they didn’t practice due diligence. They didn’t realize that Jesus had been born in Bethlehem. If they had only known.
A number of years ago I was helping a person who was in a serious situation. People I worked with attacked me, letting me know that I should stay out of that situation and if the situation was really as bad as it was being made out to be, there would be a lawsuit. I kept silent. I had spent the previous day with that person and the lawyers who were planning a lawsuit. I was asked to keep that confidential. All I could think about was “if they had only known.” It’s easy to jump to conclusions without having all the information. When we do that, though, we end up looking foolish, especially if we argue vociferously on one side of the issue or the other. We not only have to be right in this world today, we have to be the first to be right. News outlets have looked foolish in the past for jumping the gun. Commentators have made bold pronouncements about situations while they were happening, only to eat their words later. As followers of Christ, we aren’t called to be right. Yeah, let me say that again. As followers of Christ, we aren’t called to be right. We’re called to be faithful in sharing the love and grace of Jesus. We’re called to minister to the hurting, the helpless, and the homeless. The only place where we need to be right is in our relationship with God – and He did all the work to make that happen. We aren’t even called to correct other people who are wrong, even on the internet. Instead, we’re called to minister the grace of God to all people, right or wrong, and let them know about His love. They may still be wrong, but that truth can help make all things right in the end.
Lord, why is it that I always have to be right, and that when I’m wrong, I push my ideas all the louder? Remind me that I don’t have to be “right” in every circumstance, but that I always have to be loving and showing others Your grace and love.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.