Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” So there was a division among the people because of Him. (John 7:40-43)
Jesus Does Not Fit The Mold
People see what they want to see. Preconceived ideas hinder an honest examination of truth when what is presented does not fit the mold of acceptance. Truth becomes a discussion of perception instead of what is real. Jesus had an image problem that caused a lot of confusion on the part of those who were trying to understand who He was. His teaching was astonishing, the miracles powerful and His presence certainly demanding. No one doubted or denied His miracles. A few challenged His teaching but soon learned this was futile. The character of the Lord was above reproach and literally blameless. What nagged at the minds of many was that while there was serious consideration for who Jesus was it did not fit their mold of belief.
The Jews had longed looked for the coming of the Prophet or Messiah. Through the centuries various ideas had been put in place to the character of the Coming One. By the time Jesus arrived on scene these prejudices were firmly planted in the minds of the people. This man from Nazareth was a confusion. He exhibited many of the traits of the Prophet but He was from Galilee. Nazareth was a town less than twenty miles from the Sea of Galilee. Everyone knew that Jesus was from Nazareth, His ‘parents’ were Joseph and Mary and he had five brothers and some sisters. He was the son of a carpenter. Nothing is said in Old Testament scripture about the Prophet coming from Galilee. Jesus could not be the Christ because He came from the wrong part of the country.
To further show that Jesus could not be the Anointed One the people remembered the Scripture said the Christ would come from Bethlehem and from the lineage of David. Jesus did not come from Bethlehem so how could He be the Christ? A man from Galilee was trying to convince the multitudes that He was the Christ and this brought about great division. The real problem was not Jesus. In fact the Lord was from Bethlehem. Prejudice blinds the eyes to truth. If the people had simply ask a few basic questions about Jesus they would have found out that Joseph and Mary were of the seed of David and when they returned to Bethlehem to register in the census thirty years earlier Jesus was born there. He spent the first few years of His life in Bethlehem before moving to Egypt for a time and then growing up in Nazareth. But no one asked the question because Jesus did not fit the mold of what they had in their mind.
There are many reasons men reject Jesus. One problem that men still have with Jesus is He does not fit a mold they have in their mind. The crucified Savior does not appeal to their minds because they are looking for something else. It seems foolish to them to give their lives to a criminal executed by Rome and a bunch of jealous Jews. Wisdom dictates rejecting the Lord for a higher level of knowledge so that man can exalt his own self-interest at the expense of Jesus. Just like two thousand years ago the people cannot see God who stands before them. The scriptures declare the power of God through His Son and all the wisdom of man brought together for all time is barely an atomic particle of significance compared to Jesus Christ. The Bible is ridiculed yet it endures generation after generation. God’s plan to save man is rejected for something that makes “more sense” because the truth does not fit their mold and myriads of people are lost. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. He still is. The evidence is clear. He is from Bethlehem. He is the Savior.
If Christ is born a thousand times in Bethlehem and not in thee, then art thou lost forever. (Angelus Silesius; 1624-1677; Cherubic Pilgrim)