Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him.
These men knew the Scripture, but they didn’t know Jesus. They knew a lot about who the Christ was supposed to be and where He would come from, but they didn’t know Jesus as the Christ. Their incomplete knowledge of how Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures they are talking about caused them to continue in their unbelief. They weren’t quite ready to take that full step of faith when what they saw in front of them didn’t line up with what they thought they knew to be true. They never realized that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, even though He came from Galilee.
But how often do we know things that the Scripture says without them becoming real to us on a personal level? How often do we think we know something about Jesus that turns out to be our own misconception and not a truth from God’s Word? How often have we puzzled over details of things when we weren’t seeing the whole picture right in front of us? All it takes to resolve these things is a careful examination of Scripture with a heart open to receive whatever truth we may find within it. All it takes is a willingness to take God at His word and a willingness to admit we were wrong.
These are the kinds of things that can cause division, so we must be very careful how we handle disagreements about the Word of God. We can’t depend on our own wisdom and knowledge. We have to trust the Spirit of God to reveal the truth to each heart. We can’t force someone else to believe what we believe, because they have to make that choice for themselves. And if they have hardened their heart to the truth, none of our efforts could ever change that. It has to come from God.
Let us be diligent students of the Word of God, depending on the leading of His Spirit to expose the truth to us. Let us be willing to accept it into our hearts and allow it to change our view of the world around us. Let us cast off any of our own ideas that run counter to Scripture and then help others to discover the truth about who Jesus really is. When we know Him better, He will have more influence in our lives, and then we can have more influence for Him in the world around us.