Where Does Jesus Come From?
As the crowds started to wonder if Jesus was the Messiah, they rightly asked if He had come from King David's family tribe (Judah) and had been born in Bethlehem. Their question came from Micah 5:2 which says, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
They were right in checking the Scripture, but they were wrong in assuming Jesus was born into a Galilean family from the tribe of Naphtali (Luke 2:4-7), because He was brought up in Nazareth. They made the assumption that He could not be 'the Holy One of God', because they got their facts wrong. Others looked at the evidence of His life and concluded that He must be the Christ (Messiah). How could such different opinions arise? Was it just that some saw evidence and others did not? Or was it that those who did not want to believe in Jesus were using the Scripture to support their lack of faith?
It seems strange that people should quote from the Bible but not believe. However, that was exactly what Satan did when tempting Jesus (Matthew 4:6). It is a cheap way to discredit truth, and yet millions are seduced away from faith in Jesus by false teachers who manipulate Scripture to their own wicked advantage. But the Apostles refused to do that. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:2, "Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in t he sight of God." So, if you are a teacher, make sure that what you preach is clearly in line with the Scripture. And when you hear teaching, use the Scripture to check that it is true, and never twist it to support your disobedience.
© Dr Paul Adams