Jeremiah 11.18-20; Psalm 7; John 7.40-52
The region around Lake Galilee, far to the north of Jerusalem, was known as ‘the Galilee of the Gentiles’. [Matthew 4.15] There were profound cultural differences between north and south; it was Peter’s distinctive northern accent that revealed him as one of Jesus’ disciples on the night of Jesus’ arrest. [Matthew 26.73] On foot the journey from north to south required several days. [cf Luke 2,44-46] Most especially, to the Pharisees, zealous for the purity of the law, Galileans were presumed to be acculturated to Gentile, non-Jewish ways.
‘Prophets do not come out of Galilee’ one of the senior Pharisees reproved Nicodemus. He had once come to see Jesus secretly, under cover of darkness, probably during Passover. [John 2.21] John is subtle in his portrayal of Nicodemus, but today’s Gospel reveals that this earnest Pharisee has recognised in Jesus his own teacher [cf 3.10] On the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, Nicodemus came with an expensive array of spices to give Jesus a proper burial. [19.39-40] Though a ‘secret’ disciple, Nicodemus had found in Jesus his own Way, Truth and Life.