Wednesday 28 January, 2015

John 12:36b-43

When Jesus had finished speaking, he left and hid from them. 37 Jesus had performed so many signs in front of them. But they still would not believe in him. 38 This happened as Isaiah the prophet had said it would. He had said, “Lord, who has believed what we’ve been saying? Who has seen the Lord’s saving power?” (Isaiah 53:1) 39 For this reason, they could not believe. As Isaiah says in another place, 40 “The Lord has blinded their eyes. He has closed their minds. So they can’t see with their eyes. They can’t understand with their minds. They can’t turn to the Lord. If they could, he would heal them.” (Isaiah 6:10) 41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. 42 At the same time that Jesus did those signs, many of the Jewish leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees, they would not openly admit they believed. They were afraid they would be thrown out of the synagogue. 43 They loved praise from people more than praise from God.

There are two types of people in this passage. The first are the people that just will not believe in Jesus despite the miracles they see. Jesus heals them or raises a family member from the dead and they still have no faith. Unbelievable!

The other group are those that really do believe but are scared of what people will say. They are Closet Christians. Jesus heals them or raises a family member from the dead, they’re thankful and believe, but keep it quiet so people don’t think you’re weird or a fanatic. What a tragedy that their selfishness will mean others miss out on meeting Jesus.

I don’t want to treat Jesus this way but I all too often do. He gave me so much. Why do I give Him so little?

Lord, please forgive me for being a closet Christian and sometimes even treating you with complete unbelief despite all you’ve done for me. Please help me turn my life around and decide to live full-on for you.   Amen

Written by Boudy van Noppen

2 replies
  1. Justin Ware says:

    What stands out to me here is that John in his writing, is able to connect up the scriptures from Isaiah that he had committed to memory, with the reality of what he was observing at the time.

    For me, it is vitally important that I do the same 2 things: know the scriptures and have them written on my heart and in my head, but not only this! If I know Scripture but don’t apply it to my current context and situation, then I become pharisaical and from experience this leads me to become rule bound and legalistic.

    It is only when I both KNOW and APPLY the scriptures through REGULAR reading AND reflection that I can repent of not only sin but also my religiosity and slowly then become more like Christ.

    Lord, help me to be a man of your word so that it can truly change me from the inside out.

  2. Richard Botta says:

    They cared more for man’s approval than for God’s

    What a telling statement. How easy it is for this to be true, for my focus and actions to be moderated by my need for affirmation and approval. How often and who do I seek approval from.

    How actively do I seek God’s approval, do I seek Him, looking out for His interests above my own? Do I deliberately go out of my way to ensure that the God story is told, or do I draw attention to myself.

    Father I need Your help to live in such a manner that I do not seek the approval of men, but of the audience of one, You.

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