by Pastor Gene
When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people over him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. 45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
- What are the only two requirements given for Jesus’ gift of salvation in John 7:37?
- In 7:41-42, which two biblical criteria do the people point to concerning the Messiah? Did Jesus meet these criteria? Look at 2 Samuel 7:16, Isaiah 11:1, Micah 5:2, Matthew 1:1–17, Luke 3:23–38 and Romans 1:3. What details can you draw from these passages?
- There seems to have been much misinformation floating around about Jesus. I call this Fake News, First Century Style. How had Fake News about Jesus infected the crowd? What is Fake News? What is its purpose? How was it used to subvert biblical truth back then? How about now?
- In 7:45-46, the Temple guards who were sent out to arrest Jesus came back empty handed. Rather than make excuses, they simply said: “No one ever spoke like this man!” Why do you think they were so blown away by Jesus’ words? (Take a look at Matthew 7:28-29 & 13:54-56 for other examples.) Which of the things that Jesus said blows you away? Why? Does any of His words still floor you?
- What was so arrogant about the Pharisees words in 7:48?
- When Nicodemus – “one of them” – challenged them in 7:51, how did they respond? How was their response like much civic discourse in our own day? What was the intended goal of their answer? What were they trying to accomplish by saying this to Nicodemus? How is public shaming used as a strategy to silence opposing voices?
- Is it true that none of “the authorities or the Pharisees” had believed in Jesus, as they claim in 7:48? What do we learn about Nicodemus from Jn. 3:1-3? Do the Pharisees’ words in 7:48 shed any light on why he “came to Jesus by night”?
- Is it true that “no prophet arises from Galilee,” as the Pharisees claimed in 7:52? Consider 2 Kings 14:25, or the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:1-7, or even Matthew 4:13–16. Are the Pharisees spreading Fake News about Jesus?
- Clearly, pride had blinded the Pharisees, but it can do the same to anyone – believer and unbeliever alike. Consider some of the following verses. Write down as many warnings as you can glean from them about the dangers of pride: Psalm 10:4, 138:6; Proverbs 11:2, 16:18, 16:5, 26:12; Jer. 9:23-24; Luke 14:11; Rom. 12:3, 12:16b; 1 Corinthians 4:7b, 8:2, 10:12; Galatians 6:3; Philippians 2:3b; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:5b; 1 Timothy 6:17; and 1 John 2:15-17. Choose some of these to discuss with your group.
- What is so amazing about the prophecy of Zephaniah 3:9-13? What does it say about our future? What do Isaiah 57:15 & 66:2 tell us about the kind of people God likes?