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Gospel of John - Chapter 12 - Lesson 5

Posted on May 31, 2016 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The Unbelief of the People


John 12:36b When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.


After He had asked them to come into the light and become part of His family, He went into seclusion. Often after a time of intense teaching and ministering, Jesus sought time alone with the Father. Humanly, He may have needed time to clear His head. He needed respite and to allow the Father to re-energize Him. Or as the time for His sacrificial death approached, He may have needed time to prepare Himself.


John 12:37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him,


Even though Jesus had done many miracles – turning water into wine, healing a lame man, healing a man born blind, even raising Lazarus from the dead – many Jews still not did not believe He was the Messiah. Unbelief still pervasively dominated. Even today, true Christians are in the minority worldwide.

John 12:38 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?”


In Isaiah 53:1, Israel’s rejection of the Gospel message is predicted. Jesus was the suffering Servant prophesied by Isaiah, but the lost sheep of Israel refused to believe it. Their denial of Jesus as the Messiah was by the Father’s sovereign design in order that the Gentiles would be given the message and be enabled to be grafted in.


John 12:39 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.”


As Susan said, God sovereignly chose to harden the hearts of the Jews. However, that did not absolve them of the sin of unbelief. They had still made willful choices that led to their disobedience.

John 12:41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.


Isaiah foresaw the coming of the Messiah and wrote many prophecies concerning Him as the Lord revealed them to him. Isaiah saw not only Jesus as the suffering Servant, but also foresaw His ultimate glorification.


John 12:42 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.


Many of the Temple teachers believed in Jesus, but they would not come out publicly to say they believed He was the Messiah. How weak were these teachers that they feared Rome and the Chief Priests more than God? They feared the consequences of being put out of the synagogue and losing their places of honor. Their faith was not yet strong enough to enable them to stand firm. They feared the loss of their societal, academic, and political status more than they revered the Lord and their intimacy with Him. Were they truly believers at this point? Trusting Jesus involves commitment to Him. Only the Lord knows for sure. But, in the least, they were starting down the path to belief; and some would be bold enough to stand for Him publicly after His death as we will see.


Q – The crowds had witnessed many miracles, yet many refused to believe that Jesus was the Son of God. We want to judge them harshly, but there are many today who have the Bible, the Gospel plus the adventures of the early church leaders, and the testimony of Christian friends; but they still refuse to believe the truth. Are you one of these? You can trust in Jesus today while there is still time. If you are a believer, do you live in such a way as to draw men to Jesus?