John 7:45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” ESV
What is the general theme of the passage?
Pharisee [separated ones] was not a title these pietistic men had chosen for themselves. It was a somewhat disparaging name others outside their ranks had chosen for them. The Pharisees motivation lay in their belief that what Moses had written could be adapted by reason and conscience to include unwritten oral law of current Jewish tradition. That’s what separated them. It was one thing to debate those points with the Sadducees or the crowd BUT this man, Jesus, claimed He was speaking God’s own words! They didn’t like the words He spoke AND even worse they saw there was power behind them. That was all the proof they needed that Jesus must be stopped! Nothing reveals the Pharisee’s misuse of reason and conscience more clearly than calling the crowd they were dedicated to teach, “accursed.”
What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus spoke to confirm God’s own heart was to save people, not to give Pharisees a debate forum based on reason and conscience.
What does it say about people?
God uses even flawed reason and conscience. He gave mankind those gifts and is still in charge of them! The Pharisees unknowingly were speaking God’s own truth when they asked “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?” OR said “No one ever spoke like this man!”…”search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
Is there truth here for me?
Truth has become like soap bubbles in the wind. It catches our eye with it’s prism-like brilliance for a moment and then bursts and disappears. “Make up your own mind” is easier and takes less time than struggling to figure out how to deal with God’s list of moral truth, or Moses’ explanation of the ceremonial working out of that list, or our own mistrust that man is even capable of establishing judicial truth. But beyond man’s reason and conscience there is God’s truth confirmed that even a Pharisee can reveal: No one ever spoke like Jesus…search and see…the truth of God is God Himself…revealed in Jesus!