““Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in Him.” (John 12:37)
Always make allowance for spiritual blindness! There will definitely be times when you will spontaneously find yourself asking – “How could anyone fail to see God’s activity in what just happened?” Remember that the Lord personally visited the people whom He chose to bless. Some in Israel where even present when He fed the thousands from a few loaves of bread and fish. However, many of them – “still would not believe in Him!” They heard His words and witnessed His deeds, but they never acknowledged His Messiahship. Unfortunately, that same disconnect with spiritual reality still exists today.
In Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth, the Bible describes their lack of faith –
“Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.’ He could not do any miracles there, except lay His hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.” (Mark 6:4-6)
Intellectually, Jesus’ vocabulary was fully understandable. However, in spite of that, hearing Him was by no means an assurance of understanding what He taught. In that same way, personally seeing His miracles – did not ensure one’s comprehension of their spiritual meaning.
Many who observed the Lord’s incredible works accepted what they witnessed, yet never understood His identity. Those observing were not physically blind – but they only wanted to see God on their own terms. Therefore, nothing happened in their hearts. For that reason, they offered little or no response to the Truth even when they were in God’s very presence!
The Bible describes this same spiritual blindness when it occurred much earlier in Isaiah’s day, “[They] keep on listening but they do not understand; and keep looking but they do not perceive. Dull are the minds of these people.” (Isaiah 6:9)
The Lord’s teaching was closely linked to the authenticity of one’s spiritual hunger. His would-be followers needed to possess the earnest desire to personally receive God’s – Truth! Only spiritual hunger, combined with sincere faith could produce the needed comprehension. The Master frequently emphasized this by emphatically saying, “He who has ears [that desire] to hear — let him hear.” (Matthew 11:15)
Don’t despair when those you love do not immediately believe God’s Word. Instead, pray patiently, trusting Him to convict and draw them to Himself. As you do this, most of them will begin moving in His direction. Remember that even in the presence of the Messiah’s many convincing miracles, not everyone responded. Sow your witness prayerfully and live according to His message, leaving the results to Him. Keep your focus on believing what He has already said, because He always keeps His promises!
The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
By Billie Hanks Jr.