Another ominous reading for our first reading today, this time from Jeremiah 11. As we draw closer to Holy Week and Good Friday, we begin to see the readings get darker. In the Gospel reading from John 7, the people continue to conjecture from where the Christ would come. “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?” They were so close, yet so far.
The chief priests and Pharisees asked the guards why they didn’t bring Jesus in. The guards reply, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.” These men had obviously heard lots of preachers and teachers and faux prophets in their day. Yet never had they heard anyone like Jesus. In numerous places in the Gospels, we hear the people amazed because Jesus taught as one with authority. The guards must have felt the same way. They saw and heard something different in Jesus. They couldn’t bring themselves to arrest him.
Jesus’ teaching were, and still are, very counter-cultural. The Lord says that we should live our lives very differently than what the world says. Have we begun to take Jesus’ words and teachings for granted? Has the message of the world become so ingrained in our thinking that we no longer see the specialness in Jesus’ teachings? The guards in today’s Gospel reading saw it. Perhaps they were hearing Jesus for the first time. Perhaps it is time for us to put on “new ears” so that we can hear Jesus anew.
Father, help us today to recapture our awe for the words and teachings of your Son, Jesus. May we hear his message new and fresh each and every day. Amen.