A reading from the gospel according to John 7:40-53:
40 Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said, “This is truly the Prophet.”
41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
42 Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
43 So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
44 Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
45 So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
46 The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
47 So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
49 But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
50 Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
51 “Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?”
52 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.
The gospel reading above shows us how the Jews were divided in their opinion of Jesus. Many people sneer at Him because of His Galilean background. The Pharisees in particular disliked Him so much not only because of His cavalier disregard of some laws of Moses but also out of jealousy and/or pride. Yet there were some who admired Him for His wisdom and authoritative manner of teaching. This last group of Jews became His disciples.
This attitude of how people in ancient Israel behaved towards one another in general and towards Jesus in particular is not much different today. Many of us are in disbelief or dismissive of people even before we meet them. Sometimes we accuse them of wrongdoings even without sufficient basis. There are times when we get angry at them at the slightest provocation because we have prejudged them already or because they do not share our belief systems or because we have labeled them as lower than ourselves.
One of the greatest problems in the world today is racism when people are judged not on their own merits as individuals but based on their color or place of origin. Unless we begin to respect other people for who they are and consider each other as brothers and sisters, we will never have a peaceful world.