Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Dangers of Ignorance

"Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, 
Of a truth this is the Prophet."  John 7:40

These people are referring to Deuteronomy 18:15-19 which says, "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken; according to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.  And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.  I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put My words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him.  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him."  Moses foretold of a Divine Intercessor who would stand between the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man and make a path to God possible.

"Others said, This is the Christ. 
But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?"  
John 7:41

The people seem to be confused.  It is almost as though they are thinking of The Prophet and The Messiah as two different individuals when in fact these titles refer to the same Person.  The Greek word for Christ means anointed one and equates in meaning to the Hebrew word Messiah which also means anointed one.

Some people in the assembly then ask, "Shall Christ come out of Galilee?"  This is a question that is expecting a No answer and may be thought of as "Christ will not come out of Galilee will He?  No He will not."

"Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, 
and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?" John 7:42

The people are probably referring to many collective passages when they say that Christ will come of the seed of David.  Amos 9:11 would be one such passage, "In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old."

In reference to the place of Christ's birth, Micah 5:2 comes to mind, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."

These people were distressed for no reason at all because Jesus did come from the family of David, and He was born in the city of Bethlehem according to the Gospel of Matthew and Luke.  Obviously they were ignorant of His true lineage and assumed that He was born in Galilee since this is where He was brought up.

"So there was a division among the people because of Him." John 7:43

These people were needlessly divided due to ignorance.  What if they had gone to Christ and asked Him of His lineage and place of birth?  Would He have refused to answer?  I think not.  It is a dangerous thing to proceed in ignorance, especially in such important spiritual matters.  In this case, it may have cost these people their souls; however, many people today the same thing.  They develop pre-conceived notions concerning some spiritual matter and promptly dismiss some truth or truths as invalid.  It is very important to have an open mind to the facts in order that we might make informed decisions by the help of God.  The wages of ignorance can be costly.  Families are destroyed because of it.  Churches deteriorate by means of it.  People today have many pre-conceived notions about God and His ways, notions that simply are not true, and some day God will require it.  Ignorance and a refusal to learn the truth will not be a worthy excuse come that "great and dreadful day of the LORD."  Let us beware of proceeding on in ignorance.

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