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Discussion about the origins of the Messiah

Gospel Reading: Jn 7:40-53
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said, “This is truly the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he? Does not scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this one.” So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.” Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, “Does our law condemn a person before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” 52They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Then each went to his own house.

Differing opinions on Jesus’ identity result in a division among the crowd. While some say, “This is truly the Prophet,” others declare, “This is the Christ.” Earlier, in Jn 4:25, the Samaritan woman said, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed; when he comes, he will tell us everything.” To this Jesus responded, “I am he, the one who is speaking with you” (4:26).

For the Jews, the Messiah will be of Davidic lineage, from Bethlehem. This expectation is based on 2 Sm 7:12-13.

While the Jews still expect the Christ to come, John the evangelist presents Jesus as the Messiah who has already come. He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.

Prejudices hinder the Jews from recognizing Jesus as the promised Messiah. This could also happen to us. Our cultural, religious, and racial biases could blind us to the presence of Jesus in other people.

Lord, open my eyes that I may see you present in people of different cultures and beliefs.

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