Specific Passage - John 7:40-44
It's so easy for us to read these sort of chapters and wonder how the Jewish people could miss the obvious. It seems so clear that all of the Old Testament was pointing towards Him and that the rest of the New Testament confirms what the Gospels proclaim.
Some people believed because they saw first hand the miracles Jesus performed. But they didn't have much success in convincing people who didn't see these things themselves. These people were right - Jesus was the Son of God - but they were right for the wrong reasons. They just wanted a miracle worker who could solve their daily problems.
Others didn't believe, because they knew a little bit about what scripture said, but they couldn't put it all together and they misunderstood many facts about where Jesus came from. These people were wrong to say that Jesus was not the Christ, but they were wrong for the right reasons: they wanted to hold to scripture, even though they didn't really understand it.
The point is that you need to be both. Obviously you need to be right, but you also need to be right for the right reasons. Without both of these bases covered you will end up exactly like the crowd that followed Jesus around: Totally unsure of themselves and pulled in a different direction everytime popular sentiment turned.
This is why it's so important for you to know your Bible well. In some respects, you need to know what the whole book is about before you can understand any one portion of it. We've been making a big deal about reading God's Word daily, but you need to take it a step further by digging deeper into each passage so that you can see how it contributes to the grand story of God redeeming the people He created.
But even that isn't enough. In addition to knowing what God's Word says, you need to experience God yourself. Spend lots of time in worship, especially on Sundays. Talk with Him often in prayer. Take time and surround yourself with quietness and solitude so that you can concentrate on how the Spirit is shaping your heart.
These are the things we call Spiritual Disciplines. They will make you into the person God wants you to be: one who is right for the right reasons.
Prayer For The Day: Dear God, it would have been so awesome to see Jesus in person. But you have given me a gift that Jesus' friends and neighbors didn't have: the full expression of your Word. Help me to take advantage of this gift, to hear it, to read it, and to study it often and well. Amen.