The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
As we reach the end of John chapter seven we take a step away from Jesus. The Jewish authorities who had sent their aides to arrest Jesus are disappointed. The aides returned to their leaders without Jesus. Why didn’t they make the arrest? “Nobody has ever spoken like that” (v. 46).
The leaders scorn their assistants. In defense, Nicodemus, who had visited with Jesus individually in John 3, suggests that there should be testimony and a hearing before condemning anyone. It is fair to find out what Jesus is doing. Nicodemus’ associates on the Sanhedrin immediately engage in a personal attack on Nicodemus, suggesting that he is an ignorant hick.
This scenario plays itself out quite often. Rather than hearing a point of view or considering the situation surrounding someone’s actions, some vocal people in our society will immediately condemn others. The condemnation normally is an attack on the individual rather than the idea. It is almost always based on presuppositions, frequently of intellectual or moral defect. Does it sound familiar? It happens all too often.
How does the Christian respond? Sadly, the response is often a counter-attack. how should a Christian respond? Point to the facts. Be kind, though firm. Defend those in need of defense. Yet exercise wisdom. Some attacks do not deserve a response.
Notice that Jesus never attacks his persecutors. He simply lives out the truth.
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