John 7:50-52 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.”
It was a difficult choice today for me, on which scripture to go with. There were three points in the reading today that really jumped out at me. But verse 52 really just kind of took a good swing at me, so that’s the one I will go with. I realize that I often pick the least likely applicable scripture out of a chapter, and maybe that is what I did again today. But I want you to realize that ALL scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. So is the case with John 7:52.
If God would have used FedEx to send Jesus into the world, maybe the Pharisees would have figured it out. They could have gone online and followed the tracking number. (Cool website by the way is http://boxoh.com. It tracks your package on a map, so you can see where it is in the world right now.) If God would have used FedEx to send Jesus then they could have just opened the package and worshiped the Messiah. And it seems to me that many of the Jews tried to use the Scriptures like a tracking number to find the package. The problem was, Jesus wasn’t in the box. He didn’t fit in their box. He had arrived, but they were still waiting for their nice little box to show up. And in doing so, they missed him.
Here in John chapter 7, Nicodemus tries to tell them to give Jesus a chance. Their response is simply this: we’ve read the manual and this Jesus guy doesn’t make the cut. And I wonder if when they were typing in their tracking number, if they hit a wrong key. Maybe they forgot a couple of numbers, because Old Testament scripture clearly points to Jesus. Now I know that is easy for me to say in hindsight, and I wonder sometimes if I would have believed in person. I wonder if Jesus would have fit in my box.
Do we have a box that we try to fit God into? Is there a nice little package that we expect Him to be? You see, God does not fit in a box. He does not shape himself to our perception of Him. He doesn’t conform to our image, we are to conform to His. God is not a big round guy with a white beard – that’s Santa! God is Spirit; He is indescribable and often unexplainable. He moves in ways that we don’t always see coming. His ideas are way better than ours and His ways are most definitely greater. And I think we limit God in our lives if we expect Him to conform to what our view of Him is. Like the Pharisees, we can wait forever staring at the box and hoping Jesus pops out. Or we can realize that there is no box that can contain our God and open our hearts to His infinite greatness. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for Jesus to do unexpected things in my life that will blow me away! So I am going to go ahead and lose the box. Will you join me?