Day 25: John 7:45-52

I love the beginning of this scene. Temple officers, who had been sent on a mission by the chief priests and the Pharisees to arrest Jesus, return empty handed. Not only empty handed, but also absolutely gobsmacked after hearing Jesus speak. Their explanation? “No one ever spoke like this man!”

Theirs may be the most reasonable, appropriate response of anyone on the scene. After all, no one ever had spoken as Jesus did. God had never come in human form to make himself known before. The ultimate rescue mission of humankind had never been undertaken before. These people are witnessing an absolutely new and marvelous thing – what a moment in history!

And what a colossal, tragic waste on the part of the leaders who have glorious eternity at their fingertips and shove it aside to cling more tightly to their petty, puny power. Worse yet, they are determined to drag their flock down with them. The protest of Nicodemus is dismissed with withering scorn.

But this nameless crowd is fully known and precious to God, who has entrusted each of them to the care of Israel’s leaders. Sadly those leaders prove to be faithless shepherds whose words reveal their disdain for their own flock – to them their people are ignorant…mere rabble…accursed.

How the heart of God must have broken in compassion for his lost sheep.

Question: Have we ever held lightly the trust God has put in our hands for the care of others who are precious to him?

Prayer: Father, forgive us for the ways we have wounded or neglected those whom you’ve given us to love in your name. May we know the certainty of your love, so that our hearts reflect your great Father heart for all your children.

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