Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said, “This is truly the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he? Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.” So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.” Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, “Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” Then each went to his own house.
In this gospel, Jesus is being judged on the externals, such as where he was born. They are not looking at who Jesus is nor appreciating who he is as a person, or even that he is the son of God.
Jesus showed us that each and every one of his followers — including us — are blessed with many gifts and talents that must be employed in building up the kingdom of God. He proved to us that he could entrust the leadership of his movement to a fisherman and that the first disciples preaching the gospel were everyday, working class people.
This Lent, we are challenged not to judge people on their externals, such as where they are from, or what appears on the outside, because on the inside, God has placed many gifts and talents in each of us. Some of us may be able to speak well. Others may be able to build buildings or grow crops, while others may be able to teach or advocate for the rights of others.
There is no one who is too simple or too poor. All of us are called to do our part to bring the light of Christ into the world.