Making a Stand for Jesus

John 7: 40-53
Jer 11:18-20 / Psa 7: 2-12

No man ever spoke like this man!
(John 7:46)

Your will, O Lord, is our command
In our quest for transformation;
Grant us wisdom to understand
Your divine plan of salvation.

When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This is really the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” So there was a division among the people over him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this man!” The Pharisees answered them, “Are you led astray, you also? Have any of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, who do not know the law, are 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 you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee.” They went each to his own house.

Reflection

Jesus provoked different responses from among the people who heard Him preach. Some were excited: “Could this be a prophet from God?” Others were convinced that “This is the Christ.” And still others were skeptical that He was the Messiah as they questioned His origin. The Pharisees and Scribes reacted with anger and cynicism, as they viewed Him as a threat to their established traditions. Nicodemus was the only one among them who had enough sense to give Jesus the benefit of the doubt, but he was not brave enough to compromise his standing with his peers, and so backed down. But the power of Jesus’ words also moved the temple guards who were sent to arrest Him. They came back empty handed because His time had not yet come.

Jesus lived up to His word when He said that He had not come to bring peace upon the earth, but division (Mt.10:34). Through the centuries, many have indeed been divided in their relationship with Christ. God has given us free will, the power to make a choice: to take a stand for Christ and the Gospel, or to continue pursuing our own deluded quest for freedom and self-realization. To follow the example of Jesus and offer our lives in selfless love for God and others, or to follow our self-centered desires according to the standards of the world, as opposed to God’s kingdom. During this time of Lent, let us meditate on this important crossroads in our life. And may we follow the choice of Joshua, the successor of Moses, who said, “Decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Disturb me, O Lord, if You must, that I may always be loyal to You. I surrender my will to Your cross, that I may earn the eternal glory of Your kingdom. Amen.

2 Responses to “Making a Stand for Jesus”

  1. jojo  on March 24th, 2007

    The gospel continues the discussion of the origin of Jesus. Both the Sadducees and the Pharisees rejected Jesus because he did not fit in with their ideas of the Messiah. In spite of this, there are a few people in high places (such as Nicodemus) who believe in Jesus and who want to save him. Their voices will be silenced. Was it because they failed to stand up strongly for the truth? Remember the old saying,: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that the good do nothing.”

  2. Mong Robillo  on March 25th, 2007

    True. But Nicodemus and the temple guards were both unable to change the course of Jesus’ destiny. Even if it is within our power to do so, if our plans are not according to God’s will, we will come up empty-handed.