Daily Word

Division Among the Leaders | John 7:45-52

45 When the Temple guards returned without having arrested Jesus, the leading priests and Pharisees demanded, “Why didn’t you bring him in?” 46 “We have never heard anyone speak like this!” the guards responded. 47 “Have you been led astray, too?” the Pharisees mocked. 48 “Is there a single one of us rulers or Pharisees who believes in him? 49 This foolish crowd follows him, but they are ignorant of the law. God’s curse is on them!”

50 Then Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up. 51 “Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?” he asked. 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself—no prophet ever comes from Galilee!”

[The most ancient Greek manuscripts do not include John 7:53–8:11.]

John 7:45-52 (NLT)

Officers report back

The officers that were sent by the Pharisees and priests came back without arresting Jesus. They indicated that they were convinced Jesus was not a criminal – maybe he was The Prophet or Messiah. The leaders were infuriated. 

Consider: How could the Jewish leaders command the Roman officers (police)? Even more curious is that these police would be affected by Jesus. The NLT version clarifies – they weren’t Roman soldiers. They were temple guards, a special sub-tribe of Levites.

Know vs. know

What personality qualities do you see demonstrated in the reaction of the Jewish leaders? Top of the list is pride. These guys prided themselves in being “experts in the law”. They’re right and everyone else is wrong. Yet, even among themselves there were disagreements exemplified by the fact there were two main sects – the Pharisees and Sadducees. 

The key here is Know the law vs know the law. That is, they knew the letter of the law. They even added their own rules in an effort to try and make sure they didn’t violate them. For example, they put many rules around the Sabbath and what exactly was considered “work”. But, they missed the meaning of the law, which Paul says is “for through the Law comes knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). The law points us to our need for a Savior. 

Division with Nicodemus

We remember Nicodemus from John 3:1-21. He’s the pharisee who had a sincere interest in Jesus’ teaching – but was possibly fearful of his cohort. The Jewish leader’s reaction to Nicodemus’ honest and justified challenge shows their vehement opposition to Jesus. Later, Nicodemus aids with the burial of Jesus in John 19. 

<- Reflection ->
  • Do you know Jesus or do you know Him?. Do you know about Him or do you believe in Him as your savior from sin? Believe!
  • Another plug for The Chosen which gives an interesting (with creative license) back story of Nicodemus.
EU flag missing star. Division. Image from Pxfuel.com

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