Summary: For the past year and a half we have seen in our study of the gospel of John how Jesus has been rejected and how some have accepted Him. In tonight’s study we will get an even clearer picture of Jesus’ rejection and acceptance.
For the past year and a half we have seen in our study of the gospel of John how Jesus has been rejected and how some have accepted Him. In tonight’s study we will get an even clearer picture of Jesus’ rejection and acceptance. Quite a long passage so let’s get started.
READ 37-41. What we have here are the unbelievers who act illogically. Their unbelief makes no sense, because God has done all He can to help man believe, yet man rejects and refuses to believe. Let’s break this unbelief down in smaller parts.
1. Unbelief rejects miracles.
a. Note the words in v. 37 “all these miraculous signs.” Jesus reached out and touched man with His compassion. He helped and ministered to everyone He could possibly reach. In fact, in Jn. 21:25 we are told that Jesus performed so many works and miracles that if they should be written, the whole world would not have room for the books.
And the signs performed were quality. They were signs from the heart of God. They were pure signs, strong signs—signs that God’s power alone could do.
b. Note, too, the words “in their presence.” Jesus didn’t do these miracles out in a desert or in some far off, remote place. He did them right before their eyes, where the people could easily see them.
c. Also note the words “they still would not believe in him.” Their hearts were shut, closed to the clear and undeniable evidence that Jesus was the Son of God. They were in a state of unbelief and their unbelief was illogical. It made no sense.
2. Not only does unbelief reject miracles but unbelief rejects revelation. The message was from God Himself. The message was both the words and deeds of Jesus. All that Jesus did through preaching and teaching revealed the truth. So God gave man more than just words, more than just ink and paper, more than just the sounds of a voice.
God gave man a Life to live out the words. He gave man a person.
• Not only to speak the truth, but to live the truth.
• Not only to speak the works, but to do the works.
• Not only to preach God’s will, but to demonstrate God’s will.
• Not only to teach men, but to show men how to live.
That person, of course, was Jesus. Yet despite the fact that God sent His own Son into the world to proclaim His message or His revelation, men still don’t believe. So, once again, they act illogically, making no sense whatsoever.
3. So unbelief rejects miracles, unbelief rejects revelation, and unbelief rejects the arm of the Lord. The arm of the Lord means the strength of God, his power to save and to deliver and to give life. The arm that saves and gives life is Jesus. Unbelief rejects the arm and salvation of the Lord. And that, yet again, is illogical.
Did you notice that all this unbelief was prophesied by Isaiah?
Now before we go any further with this passage, we need to note the critical matter of unbelief. Unbelief results in some serious consequences. A person cannot reject Jesus Christ and expect matters to stay as they are. No matter how mild a person’s rejection is, the matter is serious to God.
A person may only reject God in their thoughts, never saying a word or committing a public sin against him. But no matter how mild the rejection, God still cannot overlook the rejection of his Son. He loves His Son too much, and His Son has done too much for man. When a person has the chance to see and open his heart but chooses not to look and closes his heart, that person suffers the consequences.
In other words, when God has loved the world and done so much for man, man cannot deny God’s Son and expect to suffer no consequences. And the consequences and results of unbelief are spelled out. Here are some of them:
• God blinds the eyes of the unbeliever.
• God hardens the heart of the unbeliever.
• God condemns the unbeliever to be lost.
• God never reveals His glory to the unbeliever.
Does this mean that God causes the unbelief of a man before he is ever born? No. A man is lost apart from his will; against his will. A person is lost only because they choose to have nothing to do with God and to be lost.
What Scripture teaches is that God has set certain laws in the universe. If a person does something, certain things will happen. If a person does something else, then something else will happen. Scripture teaches that unbelief is governed by these laws.
• There is the law of sowing and reaping. If a person sows unbelief, he reaps unbelief.