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)
Nobody Asked Jesus Where He Was Born
Jesus had created quite a stir during His ministry. In the beginning, He enjoyed a level of popularity but as His work progressed and His teaching became clearer to the people, many turned and walked with Him no more. To compound things, His own brothers (James, Joses, Simon, and Judas) did not believe in Him. When Jesus went up to Jerusalem about the middle of Feast of Tabernacles, He entered the Temple and began to teach. The Jews marveled that a man from Nazareth and a man who did not have a background in education could speak so forcefully and eloquently about the scriptures. It created confusion in the minds of the people as they tried to understand who Jesus was. He was known as a great man because of His miracles. His teachings against the Jewish leadership were well documented. The authorities wanted to silence Jesus but had not arrested Him. On the last day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out that all who would come to Him would never thirst and out of their hearts rivers would flow of living water. When the people heard Him say these things they pondered if He was the Prophet promised by Moses so long ago. There were those who believed the man from Nazareth was the Christ, the Messiah. But others could not accept a man from Galilee being the promised Christ because the scriptures never mentioned the Anointed One coming from Galilee. All the Jews knew that when the Christ comes He must come from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was. Jesus of Nazareth could not fit that mold as He was called a Nazarene. His family came from Nazareth, ninety miles north of Bethlehem. As a result, the people were divided because of Jesus.
The gospel writer Luke describes the birth of Jesus when the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph. Through the power of the Holy Spirit Mary bore a child that would be called Jesus. Prior to the birth, Caesar Augustus, emperor of Rome, decreed that all the world should be registered and that all citizens must return to their home town. Joseph and Mary were both from Bethlehem and began the arduous journey to their birthplace. Arriving in the small village southwest of Jerusalem, Jesus was born and laid in a manger. The family remained in Bethlehem for a couple of years before fleeing to Egypt before the soldiers of Herod came and killed the young child. After the death of Herod, Joseph and Mary moved back to Nazareth where Jesus remained with his brothers and sisters until the age of thirty. His ministry began with great authority as He preached the kingdom of repentance. The miracles of Jesus affirmed He was the Son of God. His manner of life was in keeping with the prophecies of the coming Christ. The one question that no one thought to ask the man from Nazareth was where He was born.
Would it have changed the ministry of Jesus if he began showing people His birth certificate proving He was born in Bethlehem? The will of the Father was being accomplished in the manner of His divine choosing and it would not have made a difference if they knew He was from Bethlehem. Every evidence needed to know that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ was clearly revealed through His teachings and His power. While the Jewish leaders constantly attacked His teaching and sought on many occasions to trap Jesus in His teachings, they never once denied a miracle performed by the Lord. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead the leaders sought ways to kill Lazarus and Jesus. How could they deny such a powerful miracle? People see what they want to see and they ask questions that matter to them. It would have been a simple question to ask the man from Galilee where He was born but no one seemed to take that thought into consideration. Their hearts were not inquiring for truth. They could see what they wanted to see and were blinded by their own ignorance. Many people today could know the truth that will save their souls and give them a greater hope in life but they have no desire to ask the right question: where can I find peace? It was remarkable that while the people debated about the Galilean being the Christ that He actually was born in the city of David. What is sad for most people today is the Bible is the fully revealed word of God and they never take the time to listen to the mind of God. Like those Jews two thousand years ago, a little investigation would change their lives. Seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened for you. Ask and you will come to know the wonders of eternal life.