This Gospel passage is a little unusual in that Jesus does not appear in it directly; instead, John concentrates on the reaction of those whom Jesus speaks to and calls. What impression does he make on them? What response do people have?
It is the guards who are key here: “No man has ever spoken like that before.” The guards have met Jesus personally and have actually listened to what he was saying to them rather than relying on their orders or their preconceptions, and they have come to at least the beginning of belief. They have listened, they have grown.
And what about us? Most of us have been hearing about Christ and think that we too know who he is and what his origin is, but do we spend any time listening to Jesus himself?
Do we hunger to find the real Jesus, do we seek him in Scripture and listen to him in prayer? Or do we already “know” who he is and only read Scripture to find proofs and to solidify our position? Do we spend our prayer time telling God what He should do for us or do we ask to learn His desires for us and to accept His values? We should be approaching Scripture prayerfully, humbly, open to meeting the real Jesus and letting him reveal himself as He wishes to.
Then we will be filled with the Word as Mary was, and the Holy Trinity will tell us who we are and who they are. And that is how we will come to the belief of the guards and even the enthusiasm of the disciples.
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