40 Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”
The following verses show an attempt to identify Jesus with various current interpretations of the Messiah. Three groups gave their opinion.
Since Jesus made the outstanding claim that if anyone would come to Him, He would meet their eternal needs, the crowd entered a debate about this person who made this claim.
many from the crowd,
There were “many” who held a high view of who Jesus was.
when they heard this saying, said,
“This saying” was Jesus’ proclamation of “Let him who thirsts come to me and drink.”
“Truly [certainly] this is the Prophet.”
One theory of the identity of Christ was that He was “the Prophet”—that is, the prophet predicted by Moses (Dt 18:15, 18).
Yet another theory was that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.
“This is the Christ.”
The word “Christ” is Messiah. Some believed that Jesus was the anointed one from God.
But some said,
Others rejected the idea that Jesus was the true Messiah.
“Will the Christ come out of Galilee?
The basis for this group’s rejection of Jesus as the genuine Messiah was that He was from Galilee. This question expects a negative answer: “No, He is not the Messiah because He is from Galilee.”
Has not the Scripture said
The group denying Jesus as the Messiah appealed to Scripture to justify their view.
that the Christ comes from the seed of David
Had this group examined the history of Jesus, they would have discovered that their theory proved He was the Messiah.
and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”
Bethlehem was in Judah, not Galilee. The birthplace of Jesus was a few miles south of Jerusalem. It was King David’s hometown. The Greek expects a positive answer to this question: The Messiah would come from Bethlehem.
There is a correlation between spiritual blindness and negative volition.
Those blind to the truth will maintain their negative volition toward Christ. One group, while attempting to discredit Christ, ironically stated His qualifications for Messiahship. This dialectical approach catapults people into perpetual uncertainty. The right approach to Christianity is: “Once I was blind but now I see.”