“When Seeing Isn’t Believing”
I. Because faith comes by hearing the Word of God! Today we deal with the rejection of Christ by the Jews. John spoke of this situation directly in the 1st chapter of John: 1:11 “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” Jesus declared this truth in Matthew 13:57, “And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his home town, and in his own household.’”
John 12:37-50 John is giving us a summarization of Jesus ministry at this point because the Lord is about to transition into specific guidance and teaching for His disciples. If you desire to become a student of prophesy than Isaiah is a great place to start. John refers to Isaiah 53:1; “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” This verse is in the middle of the fourth Song of the Servant that is found in the book of Isaiah. Briefly the four songs are:
1. The 1st Servant Song – Isaiah 42:1-9 The servant who has concern for the weak, blind & imprisoned.
2. The 2nd Servant Song – Isaiah 49:1-7 The servant who is sent to the Jews but becomes light to the Gentiles.
3. The 3rd Servant Song – Isaiah 50:4-11 The servant who endures ridicule yet remains blameless.
4. The 4th Servant Song – Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 The servant who suffered for the sins of mankind.
John wants us to understand something very clearly about the nation of Israel. As a Jew, John had been raised under the LAW and that spoke about the might power of God but still the people constantly displayed lack of trust in the power and purpose of God. John is both an eyewitness of Jesus, His ministry, death and resurrection, therefore His glory promised by the Father, and because of John’s Jewishness he is an eyewitness of what Isaiah foretold concerning the rejection of the Son. That is exactly what these next few verses are about: 39-41, “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.” (Isaiah 6:10) John is quoting this text except he’s not: He is paraphrasing this text and listing the order of things based on what he has observed during Jesus ministry.
Even so, or as John puts it, “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue.” (verse 42) And he gives us the reason in verse 43: “for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
1. Verse 44 & 45 - __________________________________________ __(John 5:19-24)
2. Verse 46 – “I have come as a light into the world”, emphasizing His statement at the Feast of Tabernacles, “I am the Light of the world.” (John 8:12)
3. Verses 47 & 48 – “And if anyone hears My words and does not believe”. “The word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”
4. Verse 49 – Jesus came and spoke on God’s authority, not on His own. (John 8:38)
5. Verse 50 –. “Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” (John 5:19 & 8:28)
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