John 7: 45-52: The ignorance of arrogance.

“45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, ‘Why didn’t you bring him in?’46 ‘No one ever spoke the way this man does,’ the guards replied.47 ‘You mean he has deceived you also?’ the Pharisees retorted. 48 ‘Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law – there is a curse on them.’50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 ‘Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?’52 They replied, ‘Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.’ NIV

Three A’s!

ATTRACTION (45, 46): It’s a lovely story isn’t? The temple guards who had been despatched to arrest Jesus (32), came back empty handed. You can’t imagine that these men were easily put off in their work, and it probably wasn’t a good idea for them to be negligent. They had tough bosses, and my guess is they were no softies themselves. But they were utterly charmed by the words of Jesus. It’s a compelling insight into Christ’s magnetism. If they are honest, probably very few would argue with the assertion that Jesus spoke the best and most beautiful words in the world. They may not believe in His divinity, but they cannot doubt the power and persuasiveness of His teaching.

ARROGANCE (47 – 49):This is not a winsome quality. Arrogant people feel and act superior. They are dismissive of the thoughts, ideas and opinions of others. They imagine they know best and are unteachable. They are, as someone put it, ”Blocked learners.” If you ever recognise the slightest hint of arrogance growing up inside you, root it out before it spreads and covers the whole garden of your soul. It’s a malignant, destructive weed. It does not belong in a believer’s heart. It’s incongruous.

ASSERTIVENESS (50-52): While the Pharisees were putting others down, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus. You can be assertive without being arrogant. It may have been easier for him to keep silent, but as all soldiers of the cross should, he stood up for Jesus. Nicodemus may not yet have experienced the new birth. We just don’t know. But he certainly knew about it, and he was deeply impressed by Jesus (John 3:2). We also have reason to believe that he spoke for others of his group. He was not alone in his admiration. You don’t have to be rude to be assertive, but you do have to be brave. In an atmosphere that seems to be increasingly secular and anti-Christian, may God the Holy Spirit give us the backbone to speak up for Jesus, even if it makes us unpopular and abuse comes flying our way.