February 28, 2018
John 12:36-43 New Living Translation (NLT)
From the beginning of time, despite the amazing and magnificent miracles of the Lord, people did not want to believe or submit to God. Jesus did one healing after another as people witnessed the “praise of God” or power resting on Messiah. Many were astounded, but did not believe or put their trust in Messiah even then.
God is still moving in miraculous ways in our world, but many struggle to confess belief because loving Jesus and believing in the Living Word causes offense to others. That is why Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are not offended by me” (Matthew 11:6). Why would Jesus respond that way? Because in Christ we have the invitation to allow the “praise of God” to rest on us as we live in fellowship with the Father. But as we will see in our passage today, people sometimes desire human praise rather than the “praise of God.” Allow the Word to do its work in your heart, mind, will, and emotions, and enjoy the “praise of God” abiding in your life. It is SWEET!
36 Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.”
After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.
The Unbelief of the People
37 But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. 38 This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted:
“Lord, who has believed our message?
To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?”[a]
39 But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said,
“The Lord has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts—
so that their eyes cannot see,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and have me heal them.”[b]
41 Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory. 42 Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. 43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.
Prayer: Lord, I desire your help in keeping my eyes open and my heart sensitive to your signs and activity in the world. I call for and longingly ask to enjoy your praise and power operating in my life as I keep my eyes fixed on Christ. I desire your praise most of all. In Jesus’ name. Amen.