Gospel of John 7:40-53
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.
So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
Then each went to his own house.John 7:40-53
Sunday Gospel Reflection March 20, 2022
One way to understand the Old Testament is to see it as the story of God slowly teaching the people of Israel who he is. I think we sometimes forget that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob didn’t have the Bible, religious education classes, or religious leaders to teach them all about the one, true God. Instead, as the ultimate teacher, God slowly revealed more and more of his identity to them throughout the Old Testament.
The story we hear today of the burning bush is an important step in this process. A person’s name is very meaningful in the Bible- it’s why God gives new names to so many people at important moments in their lives. To know a person’s name is to achieve a level of intimacy with them.
God is inviting the people into a deeper relationship with Him as He prepares to lead them into freedom. Our lives too are about forming relationships and growing in intimacy with others. As fallen humans though, we can struggle with finding the right balance in deepening these relationships. We might be tempted to jump into relationships headfirst with those who later turn out to not have our best interests at heart. Or we may be so protective of our heart that it hardens, and our relationships wither with shallow roots.
Learning to set good boundaries in relationships is important so that we can both protect ourselves and also be vulnerable enough to let the relationship grow. If you find yourself struggling to find a happy medium, consider taking some time to ask the Lord to help you grow in this area. Counseling or spiritual direction could also be helpful if you find yourself continuing to struggle.