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21 March 2015

Read today’s Gospel Reading: John 7.40-52

It is remarkable that the Temple Police had a crisis of what is right over whether or not to arrest Jesus. The Pharisees accuse them of being ‘deceived’ by him like everyone else. The fact is, they are stunned by the way Jesus has been speaking. He has an authority that wins people over, and that challenges the religious and political establishments.

The question of police integrity is always a real one, simply because those who enforce the law are sinners like the rest of us, and must never think they are above the law. Police Officers the world over, have always had to weigh up, often in moments of extreme tension, the orders they are given against their own sense of right and wrong. The pressures they face are immense. We should pray for them, so that they will pursue true justice with integrity, and in the heat of the moment, that they will do the right thing.

Nicodemus, who had already stepped out of line and taken the risk, as a Pharisee, of meeting with Jesus one to one, speaks from his conscience also. Surely the Law allows people a hearing before judging them? But just as they had mocked when the Temple Police came back impressed by Jesus’ teaching, so they ridicule Nicodemus –and weigh in with tribal, regional prejudice also – ‘Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.’

When under pressure, do we stay true to our sense of what is right, or do we give in and do what is unjust?

Be loyal to the Truth: Jesus. Seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness.

Today’s Gospel Reading: John 7.40-52

When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, ‘This is really the prophet.’  Others said, ‘This is the Messiah.’  But some asked, ‘Surely the Messiah  does not come from Galilee, does he?  Has not the scripture said that the Messiah  is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?’  So there was a division in the crowd because of him.  Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, ‘Why did you not arrest him?’ The police answered, ‘Never has anyone spoken like this!’ Then the Pharisees replied, ‘Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.’ 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.’