Have you ever thought as you read your Bible how people in Jesus’ day didn’t believe He was the long-awaited Messiah? The ones that opposed Him the most were the priests, the Pharisees and other religious leaders – the very ones who studied the Law of Moses and the prophets. But if that wasn’t enough, then what about all the miracles He did? Wouldn’t that be enough to convince them? What about you? Do you believe?
Yet, here in John 12:37, we find that even though Jesus performed many miracles in their presence, they did not believe Him. So what got in the way of their belief? As a man, he was simply not the stuff Messiah’s are made of. Not the kind of Messiah they wanted. They wanted someone to crown king. Someone that would restore the nation of Israel to its glory days when David was king. Someone who would free them from Roman rule.
There is another reason, though, that the people did not believe Jesus was the Messiah. God planned for many in Israel to be unbelieving and to reject Jesus. Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that [the first indicator that the unbelief was planned] the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled. John then goes on to quote Isaiah 53:1. So that…God planned Israel’s rejection of Jesus because He had a plan of redemption for all of mankind.
It was their rejection of Jesus that sent Jesus to the cross. Without the cross, there is no salvation. So God planned for Israel’s rejection and murder of His Only Son.
What about all the miracles Jesus did? Israel’s history is full of prophets who did miracles. But none of them claimed to be The Son of God. For the Jews, making this claim was pure blasphemy – and that is what they rejected. We also see throughout the Bible that there were those who practice sorcery. Remember when Moses cast his rod down and it became a serpent? Pharaoh’s magicians did the same thing – but then Moses serpent ate all the other serpents. King Saul wanted to talk to Samuel – only Samuel was dead, so he went to see a witch who could summon the dead. So the miracles, in and of themselves, didn’t prove Jesus was the Messiah.
The people were certainly fascinated by the miracle Jesus did. They flocked to Him for the chance of seeing Him perform a miracle. And yet, still, the did not believe. Maybe at some point in your life, you found yourself in a place of doubt. A time when you’ve been questioning what God has called you to do. Maybe you’ve been questioning your salvation. Or maybe you’ve been questioning if Jesus really is the Son of God. Maybe you’ve found yourself saying, “God, if Jesus would only do a miracle, I would believe.” Don’t be so sure. The people of Jesus’ day watched him do miracle after miracle and still they did not believe. Even after he rose from the dead, there were still those who did not believe.
Each one of us must decide what we believe about who Jesus is. We have the Bible from Genesis to Revelation that tells us about Him. We can point to the prophecies told about Him and show where the prophecy was fulfilled. But in the end, the only way to salvation and eternal life is by faith. There is no other way. We must simply believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died in our place to pay the price for our sins, but then rose again and now lives in heaven.
The Bible also tells us that Jesus is coming again – are you ready?
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