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Faith Daily | 2 April 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 48


Almighty God,

in Christ you make all things new:

transform the poverty of our nature

by the riches of your grace,

and in the renewal of our lives

make known your heavenly glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen


GOSPEL for the Day: John 7: 40-52


40 When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, ‘This is really the prophet.’ 41Others said, ‘This is the Messiah.’ But some asked, ‘Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? 42Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?’ 43So there was a division in the crowd because of him. 44Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.


45 Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, ‘Why did you not arrest him?’ 46The police answered, ‘Never has anyone spoken like this!’ 47Then the Pharisees replied, ‘Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? 48Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.’ 50Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus* before, and who was one of them, asked, 51‘Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?’ 52They replied, ‘Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.’


GOSPEL REFLECTION: Virginia Hasker


Prior to this passage there is a description of Jesus preaching at the Jewish Festival, in the Temple and amongst the crowds. There was much curiosity about Jesus. Who was he? Was he a Prophet? Was he the Messiah?


The people were fascinated by Jesus, his feeding of multitudes, his healing miracles, his authority when teaching and his origin as the son of Joseph a carpenter in Nazareth, but he was born in Galilee, which is in Judea.


However the Pharisees are livid about this uneducated man teaching and claiming to be something special. They are followers of the Mosiac Law which they have studied and it gives them a framework to live by and feel superior. This itinerant man cannot be what he is claiming because he was born in Bethlehem for a start. The Messiah was prophesied to be born from the ‘line of King David’, and he came from Nazareth.


So the conflict begins about Jesus, his claims, his acts (miracles), his teaching and his effect on the crowds. This conflict continues for the three years of Jesus active life and results in his death.


In this passage Nicodemus, who is himself a Pharisee, but has spent time with Jesus secretly, puts up a ‘snag’ in the law, which seems to indicate that someone is thought innocent until proven guilty. That maybe their birthplace is not enough to condemn them. This is very annoying for the other Pharisees!


And so Jesus time on earth continued, and in his words to his brothers in John 7: 6-7 he indicated that he was aware of what he should do and how it would go.


My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.


I wonder how we would go today if we came across someone who was making the claims that Jesus did, and acting in a way that seemed alien to our rules of normal behaviour? Divisions in Churches exist today between people who believe one thing and others who don’t quite agree and think something else is correct. Even in our church!


FINAL PRAYER: Written by Bishop Arthur Malcolm


Lord God, bring us together as one,

reconciled to you and reconciled with each other.

You have made us in your likeness,

you gave us your Son, Jesus Christ.

He has given us forgiveness from sin.

Lord God, bring us together as one, different in culture,

but given new life in Jesus Christ,

together as your body, your church, your people.

Lord God, bring us together as one,

reconciled, healed, forgiven,

sharing you with others as you have called us to do,

In Jesus Christ,

let us be together as one. Amen.

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