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Where Does Jesus Come From?

John 7:40-44
On hearing his words, some of the people said, ‘Surely this man is the Prophet.’ Others said, ‘He is the Messiah.’ Still others asked, ‘How can the Messiah come from Galilee? Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?’ Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him. (NIVUK)

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).  As far as they knew, Jesus was from Nazareth (Matthew 21:10-11), but David’s family had come from Bethlehem.  Their question was prompted by 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 assumed 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.  Others ignore the Scripture, often because they do not know what it says about Jesus, constructing their own ideas about Him – making Him in their image, and forgetting that He made them in His image (Colossians 1:15-20).

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 everyone's conscience in the sight of God."  So, if you are a teacher, parent or grandparent, make sure that what you say about Jesus 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 unwillingness to submit to the truth.

God of truth. Thank You for giving us the Holy Scripture so that we can understand what is true. I am sorry when I have been selective in choosing sentences from the Bible which support my unbelief or disobedience, or when I have allowed such teaching to go unchallenged. Please help me to be open-hearted to embrace Your Word and willing to obey what it says, so that I may get to know Jesus better and learn to live like Him. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams