December 2, 2016

John 12:37-50 (ESV)
37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. 44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

Most people did not believe in Jesus. The prophet Isaiah foretold this rejection, and John boldly declared that those who did not believe literally could not believe. They scorned Jesus, and the Lord gave them over to their hard hearts. Verse 41 said that Isaiah saw the glory of Jesus, and yet in Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 6), he saw the glory of God. John used this example to explain again that Jesus was God manifest in the flesh. There were some religious leaders who believed in Jesus, but they were afraid of what others would think or do, so they were not open about what they knew. Their fear of the opinions of men proved more important than their faith in God. Jesus declared, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.” When a woman believes in Jesus, she believes in God. There aren’t two options or two paths. Either believe in God and Jesus, or don’t believe in God and Jesus. According to Jesus himself, a person can’t believe in one without the other. Jesus came to save humanity from the penalty of sin, but because most rejected him, they were left unsaved and judged by their evil deeds.

If you saw a dead person come back to life at the command of Jesus, would you trust in him? Most of those who witnessed the return of Lazarus from the dead still didn’t believe in Jesus. In addition, he performed other supernatural signs, he communicated the mind of God brilliantly, and he lived the perfect life. But it wasn’t enough for most. Our belief is never simply a matter of intellectual agreement to the facts. The most obvious example of this is found in the devil or Satan. He sees, knows and agrees to more about Jesus than we could imagine, but he doesn’t love God. The Scripture clearly teaches that we love Jesus, because he loved us first. God chose to love you and grace you with the faith necessary to believe. If you are a Christian, realize that God knew you before you were even born. He is aware of everything you have ever done and everything you ever will do, and yet he is committed to you. God doesn’t give up on those he loves, so let’s respond by not giving up on those he has called us to love.

December 1, 2016

John 12:27-36 (ESV) 27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I...

November 29, 2016

John 12:1-11 (ESV) 1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining...

November 25, 2016

John 11:23-27 (ESV) 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the...

November 24, 2016

John 11:11-22 11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken...