MANY OF THE PEOPLE, impressed by the miracles of Jesus, were accepting Him as the Messiah, but their leaders sent agents to seize Him. However, the time for Him to be delivered up had not yet arrived.
“Yet a little while I am with you, and then I go to Him who sent Me. You will seek Me and will not find Me; and where I am you cannot come.”
On the last day of the feast He stood and cried out:
“If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture says, ‘From within him there shall flow rivers of living water.’ “
The people were moved by His words. Some acclaimed Him as the Prophet; others said, “This is the Christ.” Still others were skeptical, saying: “Can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that it is of the offspring of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David lived, that the Christ is to come?”
While the people argued, some sided with the ruffians who had been sent to arrest Him, but they did not dare to seize Him. Thus the deputies of the Pharisees came back empty handed. They admitted that they, too, had been impressed by the words of Jesus, and the Pharisees said, “Have you also been led astray? Has anyone of the rulers believed in Him, or any of the Pharisees? But this crowd, which does not know the Law, is accursed.”
One of the members of the Pharisees’ council was Nicodemus. He had been attracted to Jesus in the early days of His preaching, and had come to Him secretly for instruction. Now he opposed his unscrupulous fellows and said, “Does our Law judge a man unless it first give him a hearing, and know what he does?”
But the Pharisees would not even consider the justness of his question. “Art thou also a Galilean?” they asked. “Search the Scriptures and see that out of Galilee arises no prophet.”
Thereupon the meeting broke up, and the members returned to their homes.
Meditation: When Nicodemus pointed out that Jesus should at least get a hearing before being condemned, the Pharisees answered, with unbounded presumption and snobbishness, that He could not be a prophet because He was from Galilee. At times we also are guilty of the same intolerance; we sometimes judge people by their place of origin or race, rather than by their deeds.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 131-132. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.