John 12.37-40 cont.
37 They did not believe in Him, although He had done so many miraculous signs before them.
38 This was to fulfil the word that Isaiah the prophet spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And, Lord, to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
39 Therefore, they were unable to believe, because again Isaiah said:
40 “He has blinded their eyes and had hardened their heart, so that they should not see with their eyes and understand with the heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”
As we read this passage it may seem to us that it is God who condemns people to a state of unbelief. Yet, we know that God is a God of revelation. Throughout the whole of the Scriptures He reveals Himself as the God who saves and not condemns.
Jesus said that: For God did not send the Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him – John 3.17.
Also in 2 Peter 3.9 we read: The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent – (NLT).
Therefore, how are we to understand verse 40?
Disbelief in the revelation of God was a very sad trait amongst the Jews through many centuries. At the same time God faithfully sent His prophets to turn the hearts of His people towards Him. Yet they would not listen. Concerning this Jesus said: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the ones killing the prophets and stoning those who have been sent to her. How often I have wanted to gather your children in like manner as a hen does her chicks under the wings, but you did not want to” – Luke 13.34.
It is a very regrettable fact that prolonged resistance to the word of God often leads to our eyes being unable to see the Light of His word, and our ears being blocked from hearing the truth about Jesus.
It is the sin of men and women that shuts out the revelation of God.
In writing to the church in Rome Paul talks about how, in the face of man’s love of sin, God abandons people to their depravity: So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies – Romans 1.24 (NLT).
Let us constantly put our trust in Jesus to save us from falling into sins that can so easily entrap us.