The DEEP

Down in the Boondocks

You might be a redneck if ...

John 7:40–52

Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.”

But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” So there was a division among the people because of Him. Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?”

The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”

Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived? Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”

Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?”

They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.”

The Pharisees based their closed-mindedness entirely on which town Jesus is from. They don’t care what He said. They don’t care what He’s done. They only care that He’s from “the boondocks.”

They even turn “Galilee” into an insult. Nicodemus raises a perfectly reasonable point and they shoot back, “Are you also from Galilee?

Ouch.


Notice that John doesn’t mention that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. In fact, verse 42 is the only time John ever uses the word “Bethlehem” anywhere (including in his epistles and in Revelation). Matthew and Luke mention it repeatedly in their accounts of Jesus’s birth, but John doesn’t.

Of course, by the time John wrote this, the gospels of Matthew and Luke were already widely known. John’s readers are familiar with their accounts.

So, John can leave the joke unsaid. That makes the Pharisees look all the more foolish.

But there’s a deeper point coming. Jesus isn’t really “from” Bethlehem either.

He’s from above.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

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The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.