After hearing the teaching of Jesus, according to John, many of the people professed, “This is the Christ.” However, after hearing this, there were those who immediately rejected the claims of the people. Instead of agreeing with those who admitted the deity of Jesus, they responded with a weak allegation. If they hadn’t been so blatantly wrong, those who heard them say it could have simply cried “Inconsequential!” since their claim really didn’t unravel any of the other evidence of Jesus so far.
What was this erroneous claim? “Shall Christ come out of Galilee?” Later, the Pharisees said, “Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.” Their claim was that no prophets came out of Galilee, therefore, Jesus is not only not the Messiah, but if He was claiming to be a prophet He wasn’t even a legitimate prophet, because He was from Galilee and no prophets were ever from Galilee…
2 Kings 14:25 tells about a prophet, Jonah, “the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gath-hepher.” This is the same Jonah that we read of in the Book of Jonah. His little hometown of Gath-hepher was located just north of Nazareth in Galilee. What does this mean, and why does this matter? This means that Jonah the prophet was from Galilee. The very claims of those who challenged others to “search and look” in the Scriptures apparently hadn’t fully done searched and looked in the Scriptures themselves.
Furthermore, they leveled the claim that Jesus couldn’t be the Messiah because the Messiah was going to be from the lineage of David, not from the other tribes that lived in the region of Galilee. They even made the argument that Jesus would have had to have been born in Bethlehem to truly have any chance of being the Messiah. Yet again, their ignorance made them sound like utter fools. Both Jesus’ mother, and His adopted father, Joseph, were direct descendants from David. Because of Ceasar Augustus’s tax, His parents had travelled to Bethlehem on the night that Jesus was born. Everything lined up perfectly.
The evidence was there to prove everything that Jesus claimed. The lack of belief on the part of the religious leaders was not due to a lack of evidence, it was due to a lack of willingness. They refused to admit what was very clearly the truth. They did not want to follow Him. They did not want to admit that their Messiah could have a Galilean accent. He was not regal enough for their liking. His followers were fishermen and tax collectors. He was always around the lame and the sick. This was not the type of Messiah they wanted. They wanted a Messiah who would come and congratulate them for the good work they were doing in His absence. They wanted to be princes in the new Kingdom that He would establish. Their religion was a political charade, and Jesus didn’t seem to fit in, so they dismissed Him.
John has made it clear up to this point, Jesus is truly Christ. Many were even starting to see it. But there were still those in darkness. John had told us in John 1:5, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” He was standing right in front of the religious leaders, undeniably the Messiah, but they refused to admit it. May we not be guilty of the same thing. Having seen clearly that Jesus is truly Christ, may we turn in obedience and faith to Him, accepting everything He taught as life-giving truth.
Food For Thought: What two false claims did the religious leaders erroneously make regarding Jesus?