John 7:40-52 (NIV): On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.” Others said, “He is the Messiah.”Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?” “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied. “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.” Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”

I find it encouraging to remember this passage. More often than not, we have more in common, more peace, with the stranger who is a Christian, than a close blood relative or neighbor, coworker who is not. I find that comforting when disagreements invariably arise with either group.  Consider that wise saying from marriage counseling. “The measure of success in a relationship (marriage or otherwise) is not whether you’ll have differences of opinions or arguments (they are inevitable among people), but rather how you resolve those conflicts.”  As Christians, we should endeavor to live out the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) as a result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Love, joy, peace, patience… gentleness, self-control.  Those attributes build up and nurture good relationships. 

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