Daily Office Readings for Monday of the 5th Week of Epiphany: Year 2
“Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, ‘Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?’ They replied, ‘Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.” (John 7:50 – 52)
So this is Nicodemus who first went out to Jesus in darkness (Chapter 3 of the Gospel of John), perhaps so as not to be seen. But the darkness could also be used to describe the darkness of ignorance. Albeit, he now pushes for some level of fairness for Jesus. And what happens? His colleagues immediately turn on him. They have that mentality that says if you are not with me, then you are against me.
Nicodemus took a risk for Jesus whom he knew in his heart was a good man and at least a prophet sent from God. His friends want to use our Lord Jesus’ current home town as a way to say he cannot be sent from God. Now, even they will admit that God can do whatever God wants to do. And one thing is for sure; God does not depend on “the way it’s always been.”
Neither should we use our own history as a locked-out boundary that will suppress any hope of evolving, or growing spiritually. When writings get old, somehow they become sacred text that suggests that the people who wrote them were in some way, smarter or more holy than we are. This kind of misguided idea, be it the Bible or the Constitution, becomes our new god. But they are not God. They are writings by people, all of whom had faults and misunderstandings like us of today. While Jesus did not originate in Galilee as they thought, it really makes no difference. God, the real God, can, and does do, whatever God wants to do. God is always doing something new.
How many of us today are still where we are originally from? Some of us are, some of us are not. Either way, it makes no difference. God is present at our beginning, in our present and will receive us when we close. Nicodemus was right, we all deserve a hearing and God, the real God, listens. We too should listen to one another with compassion. Remember, listening leads to learning, which leads to loving, which can lead to leading itself.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John