6 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

1 Samuel 14:1-52
John 7:31-53
Psalm 109:1-31
Proverbs 15:5-7

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

John 7:50-52 (CSB): “Nicodemus—the one who came to him previously and who was one of them—said to them, ‘Our law doesn’t judge a man before it hears from him and knows what he’s doing, does it?’ ‘You aren’t from Galilee too, are you?’ they replied. ‘Investigate and you will see that no prophet arises from Galilee.'”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

When we read the verses that I have chosen for Today’s Bible Verses, we hear the religious leaders speaking from their knowledge of Scripture.

Listen again as they speak authoritatively:

John 7:52 (CSB): “… ‘Investigate and you will see that no prophet arises from Galilee.'”

Clear as day, right?

They spoke with such disdain as they addressed Nicodemus. They made it clear that their intense study of the Scriptures made it clear that there were absolutely no prophets that came from the northern region of Israel called Galilee. They were trying to shame Nicodemus and his supposed unfamiliarity with Scripture.

Yet, they were dead wrong.

There was at least one Old Testament prophet that came from Galilee.

2 Kings 14:25 (CSB): “He restored Israel’s border from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word the LORD, the God of Israel, had spoken through his servant, the prophet Jonah son of Amittai from Gath-hepher.”

Gath-hepher was a border town in Galilee. So, Jonah was from Galilee.

It is also possible that Elijah and Nahum were from Galilee as well.

And, yet, the Pharisees spoke with such authority. They couldn’t be wrong. They were so sure of themselves.

John 7:52 (CSB): “… ‘Investigate and you will see that no prophet arises from Galilee.'”

So, at least one count, the Pharisees were wrong. While they were confident in their knowledge of Scripture, and while they insulted Nicodemus for his perceived lack of knowledge of Scripture, they were the ones who embarrassed themselves.

What can we learn from this?

Simply that we cannot take everything we hear from Bible teachers and preachers at face value. While we want to listen regularly to those people who study God’s Word and then share with us what they have discovered, we should ALWAYS check up on them to make sure they are speaking the truth.

After all, every Bible teacher and preacher is fallible. They can make mistakes.

And there are some shysters in the ministry who know the truth but intentionally mislead people. They knowingly speak untruth or leave out portions of the truth for their own sinful purposes.

So, what is the responsibility that is placed upon us as we listen and learn from Bible teachers and preachers? That answer is found in a verse in the book of Acts.

But, first, the context. Imagine that you are in a first-century church gathering. You are fortunate to have a special guest speaker today. His name is the Apostle Paul. He is known far and wide and is doing the incredible, courageous work of spreading the Good News of the Gospel. In fact, men like the Apostle Peter are acknowledging that some of Paul’s letters are rightfully being accepted as Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16). And he’s your preacher for today!

You would think that you could simply embrace and swallow everything that Paul said, right?

Well, that’s not what doctor Luke said they did. In fact, as we read how those saints responded to Paul’s sermons, and as Luke documented it in the book of Acts, Luke says that they were noble. They were the cream of the crop!

So, what did they do in response to Paul’s sermons that made Luke think so highly of them?

Acts 17:10-11 (CSB): “As soon as it was night, the brothers and sisters sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. Upon arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. The people here were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, since they received the word with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”

They “examined the Scriptures daily to see if” what Paul was saying was correct. They studying their Bibles to see if what Paul was saying lined up with known Scripture! Because they did that, Luke was incredibly impressed with them.

So, my friend, don’t simply swallow everything your pastor and Bible teacher tell you. Don’t quickly and mindlessly embrace what the Bible preachers and teachers say that you listen to on the radio, or podcast, or television. Search the Scriptures for yourself to see if what they are saying is true.

If you do, you are much nobler than the rest of the believers around you who simply, mindlessly swallow and follow what they hear.