"Some in the crowd who heard these words began to say, 'This must be the Prophet.' Others were claiming, 'He is the Messiah.' " —John 7:40-41
Many believed in Jesus as the Messiah but were puzzled since the Messiah was to come from unknown origins (Jn 7:27) or from Bethlehem (Jn 7:42). The prophecy seemingly disqualified Jesus since He came from Galilee (Jn 7:41).
Others did not know Jesus' origins, saying: "We know that God spoke to Moses, but we have no idea where this Man comes from" (Jn 9:29). This makes it possible for Him to be the Messiah, according to one school of thought. But the reasoning is reversed in this case. Now, since they don't know Jesus' origin, He's disqualified. If they do know, He's still disqualified. This is contradictory and confusing.
The Pharisees and priests added to the confusion with snide remarks, peer pressure, and insults. They manipulated the guards by such choice comments as: "Do not tell us you too have been taken in!" (Jn 7:47) "You do not see any of the Sanhedrin believing in Him, do you? Or the Pharisees? Only this lot, that knows nothing about the law — and they are lost anyway!" (Jn 7:48-49)
The devil's doing the same thing today to confuse the Church and the world about Jesus. He uses theological confusion and contradiction mixed with empty rhetoric and emotional manipulation. Don't fall for it. Believe in Jesus strongly, clearly, and obediently.
Prayer: Jesus, strengthen my faith in You this Lent. May I overcome confusion rather than be overcome by it.
Promise: "O Lord of hosts, O just Judge, Searcher of mind and heart...to You I have entrusted my cause." —Jer 11:20
Praise: Theresa uses her giftedness at understanding Church teachings by serving on her parish's RCIA team.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 2006 & September 18, 2006
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