Summary: Today as we continue in our Journey with Jesus through the Gospel of John… we are challenged to consider the heart of our own belief.. The Jesus public ministry is concluding… he will soon gather with his disciples as he prepares for the confrontation wit
The Heart of Belief
Series: A Journey with Jesus (through the Gospel of John)
Brad Bailey – January 16, 2011
This weekend is a holiday weekend… as Monday is a day set aside to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King. Such a day offers us an opportunity to honor what he stood for. We remember that he was one despised by many… ultimately killed… and now honored. That‘s a radical change in receptivity. What could lead to such a change in response? We could just think we have become smarter? But there hasn‘t been any significant change to the intellectual IQ of Americans. It wasn‘t a matter of intelligence… but an attitude of heart that changed.
> It reminds us that what we accept to be true is not simply a matter of the head but the heart. Belief in the call of MLK has never been simply a matter of knowing what is true… but of a willingness to change… to DO what is right. When the heart is predisposed to wanting to see something a certain way… it usually will.
He knew what was at hand… because he had given his life to following Jesus.
Today as we continue in our Journey with Jesus through the Gospel of John… we are challenged to consider the heart of our own belief.. The Jesus public ministry is concluding… he will soon gather with his disciples as he prepares for the confrontation with the powers of this world. What was at hand in the hearts of the people?
John 12:37-50 (NIV) 37 Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: "Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" 39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them." 41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him. 42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. 44 Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. 47 "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. 49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."
Here at the conclusion of Jesus‟ public ministry John is compelled to ponder the darkness of unbelief which engulfs His people. He begins…
“Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.” - John 12:37
What tragic words! John has witnessed Jesus facing the way that the religious leaders had rejected him because he threatened their authority… he had seen the anger of the very ones who should have accepted Him at every turn. All this has been a fulfillment of those words in the prologue,
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him” – John 1:11
Who is really on trial in these events?
Certainly Jesus…. he had always been scrutinized…. and the next time he would be seen in public he would have been arrested and on trial. As in every attempt to judge him in the past…. nothing would be found to judge him. In the end… he would be judged only on his claim itself (that of being the one sent by God.)
> But the words from God we hear today step back to see that the whole process reflects that the real trial at hand is that of the human heart.
It is those to whom this life comes that are on trial. The human heart is on the stand.