Seeing Is Not Necessarily Believing – John 12:36b-43

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.” (Willard Duncan Vandiver – 1899)

1. Unbelief is not ultimately about…

“And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority.” (Luke 4:31-32)

“And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.” (Matthew 7:28-29)

“And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:41-42)

“What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:27)

“Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” (Matthew 11:20-24)

“Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” (John 11:45-48)

2. Willful unbelief results in…

“In this passage, we ought to consider not so much the foreknowledge of God as His justice and vengeance, for God declares not what He beholds from heaven that men will do, but what He Himself will do, and that is that He will strike men with stupidity, and thus will take vengeance on their obstinate wickedness. In this passage He points out the nearer and inferior cause why God intends that His Word, which is in its own nature salutary and quickening, shall be destructive and deadly to the Jews. It is because they deserved it by their obstinate wickedness.” (John Calvin)

“Again, let’s be clear. This is not God putting up a wall so that people run to Him and say “I want to be a Christian, I want to come to You,” “No, I put up a wall, you can’t get to Me.” Rather, He is exercising judgment in this life on the wicked by blinding their eyes so that they do not see and hardening their hearts so they do not understand. (Kevin DeYoung)

3. Unbelief is often rooted in…

“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)

“After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.” (John 19:38-39)

“Can anything be more foolish, or rather, can anything be more beastly, than to prefer the silly applauses of men to the judgment of God?” (John Calvin)

“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

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