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©Kris Gerbrandt

Chapter 7:45-52 (ESV)

Posted on August 13, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 7:45-52 (ESV) - The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Question to consider: Why would they accuse the people who followed Jesus of being ignorant of the law?

As the people of Israel traveled in the desert after being freed from Egypt, their daily food was provided by God in the way of heavenly bread (manna) and quail, and their daily drink amazingly gushed forth from a rock that miraculously “followed them”. According to the apostle Paul, “...all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4)

If the priests’ act of pouring water into the altar basin during the Feast of Tabernacles pointed to this outpouring of water from the rock in the desert then Jesus tied it to Himself as the golden pitcher pouring out the Spirit of God on all who believe in Him. In turn, all who drank from Christ would become rivers of living water. As the officers declared, “No one ever spoke like this man!”

Other prophets may have declared the works of God, but Jesus attributed these works to Himself. It either made people want to worship Him as the Son of God or arrest and stone Him for blasphemy. It may have been really difficult for the officers to arrest Jesus in light of the former, for they were leery of arresting someone who could quite possibly be who He claimed to be. The Pharisees accused the officers of being deceived by cursed crowds who obviously did not know the law. It was the Pharisees who were deceived into thinking that their traditions were part of the law, and they comforted themselves with the idea that the only place of origin for the Messiah mentioned by the prophets was Micah (5:2) who wrote that He would come from Bethlehem. 

They also understood from God’s promise to David that the Messiah would be from his ancestral line. I mentioned a couple of days ago that Jesus was David’s biological ancestor through Mary and his legal ancestor through Joseph. It was because of his legal ancestry that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, for the census given by Caesar Augustus required that they go back to their place of origin. It was because of Joseph that the Micah prophecy was fulfilled and there was a legal record of Jesus as a descendant of David.

Nicodemus, the Pharisee who had come to Jesus in private to discern whether He really was from God, questioned their statement regarding the law because they were in violation of it by judging Jesus without a trial. Rather than repenting of this or even giving Nicodemus any evidence of sin committed by Jesus, they reacted with what they perceived was an insult— calling him a backwoods Galilean.


Dear heavenly Father, please help us to be discerning like Nicodemus and look to Your word to judge rightly. Soften our hearts towards others so that we seek to reach them with the truth rather than call them names or allow them to continue on a path toward destruction. Thank You for showing us Christ who has generously poured out Your Spirit on us. Amen.