Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” (John 7:50-52).
Psalm 1119:1 says, “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!”
Proverbs 2:6-8 says, “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.”
Proverbs 10:9 says, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”
You have to respect Nicodemas. He was a man of integrity. He followed the evidence where it took him. He witnessed the works of Jesus and concluded that He must be from God (John 3:1-8). He witnessed the behavior of his fellow Pharisees and concluded they were violating the law. The law they so strictly enforced upon others, they themselves were ignoring.
The Sadducees and Pharisees already had Jesus tried, judged and convicted. They wanted Him dead (John 5:18). However, Nicodemas pointed out a technical point to the rule of law: Jesus had not yet been heard in the court of Jewish law. Jesus must testify before He is judged before the law as either guilty or innocent of a crime. Additionally, Jesus had not been charged with a crime.
The religious leaders did not directly respond to Nicodemas’ convicting point of law, but remarked, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” Rather than consider what Nicodemas had to say, they also arrogantly dismissed him. They concluded the Jesus could not be, for example, a prophet of God because no prophet came from Galilee.
Once again, the religious leaders ignorance of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:1-7; John 7:40-44) was apparent. So also was their understanding of the Old Testament. Dr. John MacArthur explains that, “The real ignorance lay with the arrogant Pharisees who did not carefully search out the facts as to where Jesus was actually born. While they accused the crowds of ignorance, they too were really as ignorant (v. 42). Furthermore, the prophet Jonah and Nahum did come from Galilee.”
Sometimes people make confident assertions about the Bible and what it teaches without ever having read what they so confidently assert. We are to walk humbly before God and other people. Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
May it be said of us.
Soli deo Gloria!