During Jesus’ three and one half year ministry in Israel, many people believed in Him because of His teachings, the wonderful miracles, and the healings He performed.Other Israelites did not believe He was the Messiah they were waiting for.There were probably many reasons why some people did not believe Jesus was the Son of God.Three of these reasons are made evident in the Gospel of John when we read about Jesus teaching in the Temple.
First, many people completely trusted the ancient Jewish writings that made prophecies about the coming Messiah.These writings were not Biblical, and were not part of what would become the Bible.They were, however, widely accepted by the common people, as well as the religious leaders. These old Jewish writings mistakenly predicted the Messiah’s appearance on Earth would be very mysterious and dramatic. One such writing says:
“so the Redeemer shall first appear and then be concealed, and then again be concealed and then again appear." "So the Redeemer shall first appear and then be hid, and then, at the end of 45 days, shall reappear, and cause manna to descend."
Jesus’ birth did not fit this description.He was born to a humble working family with a mother, father, brothers and sisters that lived in Nazareth.His childhood was normal and not mysterious as these ancient writings predicted. Therefore, many people erroneously concluded this was a much too commonplace life for the Messiah, and they therefore did not believe in Jesus’ Deity.
Second, others doubted Jesus because they knew the Old Testament prophet Micah said the Messiah had to be born in the town of Bethlehem.Since Jesus and His family were from Nazareth, people concluded that He could not be the Savior.
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” Micah 5:2
They were wrong on this too, because Jesus was, in fact, born in Bethlehem.His family moved to Nazareth, in Galilee, 40 days after His birth. (Luke 2:39-40) People didn’t bother to ask a few questions about Jesus’ background.If they had, they would have known He was actually in full alignment with prophesies about His birthplace.
The third reason these people did not accept Jesus was because He was from Galilee, and that region of Israel was looked down upon by many people.
When the chief priests and Pharisees sent the temple guards to arrest Jesus, these guards failed to capture Jesus because they were very impressed by Jesus’ words. They knew there was something very special about Him.As a result, the guards were reprimanded by the Pharisees and were told:
“They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.” (John 7:52)
The Pharisees and chief priests denied that Jesus was the Messiah because He came from Galilee.They said no prophet ever was born in Galilee.They were wrong.
In fact, the Old Testament prophet, Jonah, was from the Galilee. He was born in the town of Gath-hepher.Jonah’s birthplace was only about five miles from Nazareth. The Pharisees were supposedly Bible scholars.How did they not know this? They must have missed this verse from their own Old Testament:
“He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Dead Sea, e in accordance with the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher.” 2 Kings 14:25 (bold print added)
So, where am I going with this?
Today, we still can make the same mistakes these people made.
We should not rely on any written material about Jesus that conflicts with the Bible.The Bible is where the truth is found.If a teaching contradicts the Bible, it is wrong. The Bible is the inerrant word of God, and the most reliable source to study to increase one’s faith and knowledge.
Our faith in Jesus cannot be based on faulty assumptions or a limited understanding of what the Bible teaches.You have heard the saying, “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.” This is also true about our Bible based faith in Jesus.With just a little bit of Bible knowledge, a person can misunderstand some basic truths in Scripture.Bible study needs to be an important part of every Christian’s day.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”(John 10:27-28)
Eternity is coming.Are you absolutely positive you are going to Heaven?