Monday, August 18, 2014

John 12:37-50 Rejection

In the study of John's gospel, we began with chapter one where John told us that Jesus came to His own and they "received Him not."

In the conclusion of this chapter, we are going to see an even clearer picture of the rejection of Jesus. We'll see that some will accept Him though, so hang in there while we study! Let's dive in!

Let's look first at verses 37 - 41:

 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 
that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:
“Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:
 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”
 These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him. (John 12:37-41)

Have you heard someone say, "I would not have believed it -- except that I saw it with my own eyes!" Or they say, "I heard it with my own ears!" In these verses we see unbelievers described . . . and they are pretty illogical, aren't they? God has done all He can to help them believe, but they refuse!
In their unbelief they are rejecting several things.
First, they are rejecting miracles.
See where the verse says "so many signs"? Wouldn't you love to have been there to see? Jesus reached out and touched mankind with His compassion. He wasn't like most people, who only help some -- He ministered to and helped everyone that He could possibly reach. In John 21:25 we read that Jesus performed so many works and miracles that if they were written down, the whole world would not have room for the books!
And these signs were "quality" -- they were real; they were straight from the heart of God, not counterfeit or phony.  They were strong and real, and there were witnesses that could vouch for the fact that they were true. That made it evident that they were miracles only God's power could accomplish.
See the words, "before them"? In some translations, the words are "in their presence." He didn't work these signs and miracles somewhere remote, or in a private place. He did them right before their eyes, where many multitudes of people could see them.
Look next at they still "did not believe in Him."  Oh, how sad to read that! Their hearts would closed, locked tight against the truth. They closed their hearts to the clear evidence that He was the Son of God. They would not relinquish their unbelief; they clung to it fiercely, and illogically.
It just didn't make sense, but they would not believe the miracles.

Not only did they reject His miracles, but also His revelation -- the verse says that the arm of the Lord has "been revealed." The message was straight from God Himself, in the words and deeds of Jesus. All of His preaching and teaching revealed truths from God. Here was more than just paper and ink, and here was more than just empty words; here was the complete package from God! He gave mankind a Person that not only spoke the truth but lived it. Not just to talk about the works, but to do them. Jesus didn't just preach about God's will, He also demonstrated it. And He didn't only teach men, but He showed with His life how to live.

In today's language, He walked the walk; He didn't just talk the talk.
So here they are, rejecting signs, miracles, and the revelation of the arm of the Lord. The arm of the Lord refers to the strength of God -- His power to save, and to deliver, and to give life. That arm that saves and gives us life is Jesus.

It's amazing sometimes to see just how "right on the money" the prophets were, even though sometimes there were hundreds of years between their prophecies and the fulfillment.  Isaiah told about this long before Jesus walked on this earth. He noted that the people would be illogical, and they would reject the evidences of Jesus' rightful claim to Sonship.

We'll continue this next time . . . hang in there!


Cathy said...

How often do I do the same thing, even as a Christian I see over and over again God's working in our lives, and His faithfulness, His answers to our prayers. And yet, when the next crisis comes into my life, instead of having faith, knowing that God has it well in hand, I worry and fret and get all anxious and panicky. I have the truth of God sitting right in front of me, containing all His promises, and yet I still choose to worry, rather than pray and believe what He said.

Belinda said...

Yes, as Cathy said, at times we still behave as if He isn't real. I have a magnet on my fridge that reads: If you worry, why pray? If you pray, why worry? And it's so true!!

Would I be like the others if I had seen His miracles "with my own eyes"? What if I saw one today? Would I believe it, or would I think it was just smoke and mirrors?

This is a "heart condition" isn't it?